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All trading involves risk. Losses can exceed deposits.

New to sectors

Sector positions allow you to take advantage of strength or weakness in a particular industry.

They allow you to pinpoint a sector and target gains without diluting your profits with the performance of the rest of the index. At the same time they also offer some protection against company-specific news that can see individual shares buck the overall trend of their sector.

Sectors can outperform the general trend of an index

For example, over a few days the mining sector could see huge gains due to a surge in demand for metals, but the FTSE 100 might remain flat if other sectors in the index have performed poorly. Choosing to take a position on the mining sector rather than the FTSE 100 would let you make the most of this industry-specific trend.

There also tends to be less volatility across a whole sector than in the individual shares that make up that sector. By trading a sector rather than a share, you can reduce your exposure to large market movements.

We offer over 35 different UK and Australian sectors, so you can gain precise exposure to the areas of the market you want. For example, if you believe an index is set to rise, but think that one constituent sector will fall, you can go long on the index but short the sector.

Sector positions allow you to take advantage of strength or weakness in a particular industry.

Available sectors

You can spread bet and trade CFDs on the following sectors:

We offer spread bets and CFD contracts on every sector represented on the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 stock indices.

Sector FAQs

What are sectors?

A sector is the measurement of the combined value of the underlying stocks in a particular industry as represented on the FTSE 350 (itself a combination of the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250).

We offer markets in 35 sectors, including the popular mining and banking sectors, as well as the FTSE 250 which is itself classified as a sector.

Unlike stock indices, which represent shares from a huge range of different businesses, sectors will tend to move higher or lower depending on investor reaction to events affecting a specific industry.

For example, stronger growth in China might cause the mining sector to rise, whereas it would be less likely to impact upon the insurance sector. Equally, more stringent financial regulation could cause the banking sector to suffer without impacting the media sector.

What are the advantages of trading on sectors?

Sectors offer greater breadth than individual shares, yet allow you to take a more targeted position than you can achieve by taking a position on an entire index.

Trading on a sector lets you use one position to take a view on a group of shares that will tend to rise or fall together. This minimises the risk of dealing with individual shares, which are subject to company-specific news such as takeover bids or going bust.

At the same time, if you think a piece of news or economic data will affect one sector particularly strongly, a sector position allows you to target the industry without diluting your profit with the weaker performance of the rest of the index.

Who trades on sectors?

Sectors can simply be an effective way to speculate on the fortunes of a particular industry. Whether you believe the mining industry is set to enjoy a purple patch, or think retailers are due to come under pressure, you can take a short-term view or a longer-term position over a quarterly timeframe. 

Alternatively, you might wish to use sectors as part of a broader trading strategy. For instance, you might feel the FTSE 100 has been oversold and is due to rise over a fortnight, but think that food and drug retailers will be a weak link during the rally. In this case you could buy the FTSE® 100 stock index, while simultaneously hedging against weakness in the food and drug industry by selling that entire sector.

How does spread betting on sectors work?

Once you know the sector on which you would like to spread bet, you check the price quotation we are currently offering. If you think the sector will rise, you then 'buy' at the offer price, or 'sell' at the bid price. To close the bet you simply take the opposite direction; if you 'bought' to open, you would 'sell' to close the position, and vice versa.

The other key choice is the timeframe of the bet. If you believe the market volatility on which you are hoping to capitalise will be short-lived you would make a DFB, whereas a futures bet would be appropriate if you wish to hold the position for a longer period.

How does CFD trading on sectors work?

Similar to our other CFD markets, if you think a sector is likely to rise then you ‘buy’ at our quoted offer price; if you think it will fall you ‘sell’ at our bid price.

The degree to which you are correct determines the amount of profit or loss you could make.