Spread betting companies offer trading on indices such as the Dow, FTSE…etc. 24-hours a day, which begs the question: Where do they get these numbers at night?
The after-hour prices are taken from futures which are derived from leading global indices around the world. When an index closes, the futures price for that index will start moving according to what happens on another index.
European Indices (UK FTSE/German DAX… etc) > USA Indices (Dow Jones/S&P/Nasdaq… etc) > Asian Indices (Nikkei/Hang Seng).
This is because markets also have a related ‘futures’ price that is usually based on another market that is presently open. What happens is that when the London Stock Exchange closes and thus trading in the FTSE 100 halts (at 4.30 pm London time say), the FTSE futures prices will then take the lead on the movements of the Dow Jones index. i.e. the futures price will start tracking the movement of the USA markets. Likewise, when the Dow closes at 9pm UK time, the Dow Jones prices start following the Asian indices.
What do you think about after-hours trading i.e. trading when the underlying markets are closed?
You shouldn’t try to trade actively after hours. The only real reason of extended trading hours is to allow participants to exit in case of a market shock or a hard stop instead of being caught out when the market opens. But trading after-hours on a regular basis should be avoided.
When an index is closed there is no reason why spread betting prices are moving in any particular direction. For instance when the Dow Jones Industrials Index is closed, by definition, there is no trading in the constituent 30 shares that make up the Dow. Why then would you want to try to trade on some extrapolated probability of what the index should be? MADNESS.