London Stock Exchange

Financial Dictionary -> Investing -> London Stock Exchange

Opened in 1801 and located in Paternoster Square in London England, the London Stock Exchange is one of the largest stock exchanges in the world, with a market cap of around 3,500 billion Pounds and over 3,000 listed companies. In 2007 it took on the electronic trading platform TradElect, boasting an 82 per cent rise in trading volume in its first year. This real time system offers the speed and efficiency now demanded by modern investors who no longer wish to operate from the trading floor. The London Stock Exchange is actively tracked by various FTSE indexes, including the 100, 250 and 350 indexes of UK companies.

Being the largest exchange in Europe and the UK's primary exchange, the LSE attracts more international companies than any other exchange, boasting stocks from over 50 different countries.

Like most major stock exchanges the London Stock Exchange not only helps facilitate trades of stock, but also bonds, options/futures, commodities and other financial securities associated with its publicly listed companies, of which anybody can invest. This open market can be accessed from anywhere online, although a broker is still usually needed to make the transactions.

The four main sectors of the London Stock Exchange are Equity Markets (to help companies raise capital), Trading services (the market for trading in all types of securities), Market Data (offering very efficient real time information) and a Derivatives market.

Although information can be obtained and trades can be instigated at anytime due to its electronic system and the use of the internet, actual trading does not take place until the hours of 8am to 4:30pm, from Monday to Friday. Pre-announced holidays where trading is closed are announced well ahead of time.