FTSE is a UK based company that calculates financial indices.
FTSE100 is to the population of UK stocks as S&P 500 is to the population of American publicly traded companies. Both are large cap indices. FTSE100 covers about 87% of the UK population, and S&P 500 covers about 75% of the American market.
FTSE describes itself at http://www.ftse.com/About_Us/index.jsp in this way:
"FTSE is an independent company jointly owned by The Financial Times and the London Stock Exchange. FTSE does not give financial advice to clients, which allows for the provision of truly objective market information."
FTSE produces hundreds of indices in the following sub categories:
Global Equity Indices Regional & Partner Indices Fixed Income & Currency Indices Real Estate Indices Alternative Indices Responsible Investment Indices Investment Strategy Indices Customized Indices
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