Indices are used to track the performance of a basket of securities. For example, if you are trading indices from the stock exchange index, which comprises of several stocks, then you are essentially opening positions on several stocks at once. This is immediately a more economical and less stressful way to diversify your investment portfolio across different sectors and trade in a basket of stocks.
For this reason, when you are trading indices, it is not necessary to analyse each company, as an index is made up of several companies providing a more accurate picture of how a country’s economy is fairing. In this respect, instead of trading individual shares, you are trading a basket of shares through an index, diversifying your exposure and hedging against unpredictable fluctuations triggered by economic news’ updates.
Stock indices are also a measure of the market performance and of current market sentiment in each country, making it easier for traders to understand and follow if indices respond well to economic news
Extended trading hours and the possibility of trading both long and short positions, attracts active traders, seeking high returns. Indices trading is an effective way to diversify against risks by investing on a wide-ranging basket of assets instead of a few investments. This helps traders hedge against unnecessary risk, which may be related to a specific company or industry, without, however, decreasing expected earnings.