Where to see movements in stocks, commodity prices, currencies and bonds

It’s important to keep an eye on how the market is moving if you’re investing in stocks and shares. You can get a sense of what’s hot and what’s not, and how other investors are reacting to various bits of news and world events, as well as general sentiment towards equities.

For a quick overview of what the FTSE 100 index is doing and which specific companies are going up or down, Shares’ website publishes various market reports throughout the day.

As well as these useful news stories, Shares’ website also lets you analyse stock movements. You can search by various UK stock indices including FTSE 100, FTSE 250, FTSE All Share and FTSE Small Cap as well as filtering just the AIM market.

The website shows each stock or indices’ current market level and change in percentage terms on the previous night’s close. You can also compare performance going back further, such as over one week or three months.

A risers and fallers table shows the top 10 gainers and losers in the aforementioned indices, again in percentage terms.

To monitor the performance of a group of stocks, Shares’ website has a ‘stockwatch’ facility where you can build lists of companies you want to monitor.

The system shows prices, the change on the day, the cumulative volume, the high and low prices for the year to date and where the current price is in relation to the highs and lows. You can also write notes on each stock, such as why you’re interested in it, upcoming events you want to watch and so on.

If you want to know when the price of a stock hits a certain level, when there is a news story on a company or one of the directors deals in its shares, you can set custom alerts. This allows you to get on with other things in the knowledge that you will be notified either when the price hits your desired level or there is relevant news.

For those with a more general interest, such as finding out which company’s shares are the most heavily traded on a given day, head to the website of the London Stock Exchange which displays both the biggest risers and fallers and the most active stocks in terms of number of shares traded.

For a good snapshot of what’s going on in the markets via a single web page, the BBC’s news website shows movements for the main UK, US, European and Asian indices, exchange rates for the pound, euro, dollar and yen as well as oil, gold and natural gas prices.

News and information firm Reuters also has prices and news on global stocks, currencies and commodities, as well as information on global bond yields.

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