Digital 100 trading strategy

Once you've learned how digital 100 trading works, you might look to develop an effective digital 100 trading system. 

A digital 100 trading strategy is a well-researched, consistent and reliable plan that you can apply to all of your digital 100 trades in an attempt to maximise your potential for profit. There are a number of things to consider when designing and implementing your own bespoke digital 100 trading strategy.

What is digital 100 system?

With digital 100 trading you just decide whether you think an event will occur within – or at the end of – a set timeframe. You choose between two possible outcomes for each digital 100 trade: you ‘buy’ the digital 100 product if you believe the event will occur, or ‘sell’ the digital 100 if you don’t think the event will occur.

Digital 100s offer trading opportunities in all market conditions, with the potential to profit from quiet, sideways-moving markets as well as from fast-moving, volatile ones. You can, by trading a combination of different digital 100s together as part of your digital 100 trading system, take a view on market volatility in either scenario without necessarily speculating on which direction the market will move.

Your digital 100 trading system could also involve trading digital 100s as a short-term hedging strategy for protection on other regular CFD or spread betting positions that you may hold.

Risk management and digital 100 trading strategy

With CMC Markets digital 100 trading is a limited-risk product, meaning that you always know in advance exactly how much you stand to win or lose on each trade. Therefore, the approach you would take to risk management when trading CFDs or spread betting doesn't apply to digital 100s. For this reason it's not necessary to incorporate risk management orders such as regular, trailing or guaranteed stop losses into your digital 100 trading system. 

This doesn't mean you shouldn't include some kind of risk analysis in your digital 100 trading system. You should consider the fundamental and technical factors affecting the instrument you're trading as part of the decision-making process you follow before entering a digital 100 position, and factor any relevant risks into your process and strategy.

Technical analysis and digital 100 trading strategy

You can build a technical analysis element into your digital 100 trading system to help you identify trading opportunities and trade entry points. The CMC Markets charting package includes ten different chart types (including candlesticks), over 20 drawing tools (including trendlines) and 75 technical indicators, including Bollinger Bands®, MACD, SMAs, ichimoku clouds and the RSI. 

Having access to a built-in charting package and technical analysis tools can assist  you when it comes to digital 100 trading as it allows you to conduct additional in-depth analysis on the instrument you are looking to trade. 

Trading strategy for sideways-moving markets

Let’s say it's 9am and has been a relatively quiet morning so far. The underlying FTSE 100 index is trading within a steady range. There are no economic data releases scheduled for the remainder of the day, and you think there is a good chance the FTSE 100 will close within a 20-point range of its current level. The underlying market level is 6000.

We are currently offering a digital 100 sell/buy price of 39/45 for the ‘UK 100 above 6010Ladder, and 60/66 for the ‘UK 100 above 5090’ Ladder. 

You believe that the index will close somewhere around 6000, and so decide to sell the ‘UK 100 above 6010’ Ladder at 39, at a size of £5, and buy the ‘UK 100 above 5090’ Ladder at 66, also at a size of £5.

The UK 100 settles at 6004.5. As a result, the ‘Above 6010’ Ladder expires at 0, and the ‘Above 5090’ Ladder expires at 100. Remember, your profit or loss is based on the difference between your entry price and the digital 100 expiry price (100 or 0).​

This means you make a profit of £195 (£5 x [39 – 0]) on the ‘6010 Ladder’ and £170 (£5 x [100 – 66]) on the ‘5090 Ladder’, so your total profit for the strategy is £365

Remember, if you had guessed the event outcome incorrectly you would have made a combined loss of £635 (£305 sell trade [100 – 39 x £5]) + (£330 buy trade [66 – 0 x £5]).

Non-farm payrolls digital 100 trading strategy

Let’s say it's midday on Friday and you are anticipating the release of the US non-farm payroll  figures at 1.30pm (UK time). You are holding a long £10 per point spread bet spot EUR/USD position, and are worried that a strong number will cause the US dollar to rally, potentially triggering your stop-loss order around 150 points lower than the current market level (1.10000).

We are offering a One Touch digital 100 sell/buy price of 5/9 for ‘EUR/USD to touch 1.08500’, for the digital 100 expiring at 3pm, after the payroll data is released. You buy at 9, as you believe the price will touch 1.08500, with a size of £5, to hedge your spread bet position in case the market does move against you.

As you feared, EUR/USD drops sharply after the payrolls are released, and the pair is now trading below 1.08500. Your stop is triggered and your spot position is closed at a loss. However, the market has touched your digital 100 strike level and your One Touch digital 100 position closes at 100 as a result. 

You have made a profit of £455 (£5 x [100 – 9]) on the digital 100 to net off against your spot trade. Remember, your profit or loss on digital 100 trades is based on the difference between your entry price and the digital 100 expiry price (100 or 0).

Conversely, if you had guessed the event outcome incorrectly you would have made a loss of £45 (9 – 0 x £5).

View a more detailed example of a digital 100 trade.

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