Our 18 World Indices

Learn about the origins of our favoured 18 Indices
  • Australasian Indices: Australian, Bombay, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Japanese, Singapore
  • European Indices: Belgian, Dutch, Euro 50, French, German, Irish, Norwegian, Swiss
  • American Indices: U.S., Wall Street
  • African Indices: South African
  • Middle East Indices: Dubai
What is an Indice Markets And YOU

What is a market index?

An index (plural: indices) allows investors to gain an insight into the performance of an asset class or a segment of that asset class. Indices are used as the underlying for various financial instruments and to benchmark the performance of portfolios designed to replicate the performance of a given asset class. There are six broad types of indices, however at Markets And YOU we focus our attention on one.

"Capitalisation weighted indices" (or CWI's) are the most widely known and quoted form of equity market indices. Capitalisation indices represent the sum of the market capitalisations of the companies making up the index. Changes in the value of the index reflect changes in the aggregate capitalisation of index constituents as their share prices change.

The weight assigned to each company in the index is proportional to that company's capitalisation with larger companies being assigned a greater portfolio weighting and therefore having a greater impact on index values.

Australasian Markets

AS51 (ASX) - Australian Index - Sydney, Australian Stock Exchange

ASX Limited (ASX), an Australian public company (ASX: ASX), operates Australia's primary securities exchange, the Australian Securities Exchange. It was created in July 2006 through the merger of the Australian Stock Exchange and the Sydney Futures Exchange.

BSESENSEX30 - Bombay Index - S&P Bombay Stock Exchange Sensitive Index

The S&P BSE SENSEX (S&P Bombay Stock Exchange Sensitive Index), also-called the BSE 30 or simply the SENSEX, is a free-float market-weighted stock market index of 30 well-established and financially sound companies listed on Bombay Stock Exchange.

The 30 component companies which are some of the largest and most actively traded stocks, are representative of various industrial sectors of the Indian economy. Published since 1 January 1986, the S&P BSE SENSEX is regarded as the pulse of the domestic stock markets in India.

The base value of the S&P BSE SENSEX is taken as 100 on 1 April 1979, and its base year as 1978–79. On 25 July 2001 BSE launched DOLLEX-30, a dollar-linked version of S&P BSE SENSEX. As of 21 April 2011, the market capitalisation of S&P BSE SENSEX was about ₹29733 billion (US$449 billion) (47.68% of market capitalisation of BSE), while its free-float market capitalisation was ₹15690 billion (US$237 billion).

During 2008-12, Sensex 30 Index share of BSE market capitalisation fell from 49% to 25%[1] due to the rise of sectoral indices like BSE PSU, Bankex, BSE-Teck, etc.

HSI - Hong Kong Index - The Hang Seng Index (恒生指數)

The Hang Seng Index is a freefloat-adjusted market capitalization-weighted stock market index in Hong Kong. It is used to record and monitor daily changes of the largest companies of the Hong Kong stock market and is the main indicator of the overall market performance in Hong Kong. These 50 constituent companies represent about 58% of the capitalisation of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

JCI - Jakarta Index

The IDX Composite (formerly: JSX Composite, Indonesian: Indeks Harga Saham Gabungan, IHSG) is an index of all stocks that trade on the Indonesia Stock Exchange, IDX (formerly known as Jakarta Stock Exchange, JSX).

Indonesia Stock Exchange (Indonesian: Bursa Efek Indonesia) is a stock exchange based in Jakarta, Indonesia. It was previously known as Jakarta Stock Exchange (JSX) before its name changed in 2007 after merging with Surabaya Stock Exchange (SSX). As end of 2012, the Indonesia Stock Exchange had 462 listed companies with a combined market capitalisation of $426.78 billion.

N225 - Japanese Index - Tokyo, Japanese Stock Exchange

The Nikkei 225 more commonly called the Nikkei, is a stock market index for the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE). It has been calculated daily by the Nihon Keizai Shimbun (Nikkei) newspaper since 1950. It is a price-weighted index (the unit is yen), and the components are reviewed once a year. Currently, the Nikkei is the most widely quoted average of Japanese equities, similar to the Dow Jones Industrial Average. In fact, it was known as the "Nikkei Dow Jones Stock Average" from 1975 to 1985.

STI - Singapore Index - Singapore FTSE Straits Times Index

The FTSE Straits Times Index (STI) is a capitalisation-weighted stock market index that is regarded as the benchmark index for the Singapore stock market. It tracks the performance of the top 30 companies listed on the Singapore Exchange. It is jointly calculated by Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), Singapore Exchange (SGX) and FTSE Group (FTSE).

European Markets

BFX (BEL) - Belgian Index - Brussels, Belgium Stock Exchange

The FTSE 100 Index is a share index of the 100 most highly capitalised companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. The index began on 3 January 1984 with a base level of 1000; the highest value reached to date is 6950.6, on 30 December 1999.

The index is maintained by the FTSE Group, an independent company which originated as a joint venture between the Financial Times and the London Stock Exchange. FTSE 100 companies represent about 80% of the market capitalisation of the whole London Stock Exchange. Even though the FTSE All-Share Index is more comprehensive, the FTSE 100 is by far the most widely used UK stock market indicator.

Trading for this market opens at 6:00pmAEST and closes at 2:30amAEST (08h00GMT through until 16h30GMT).

AEX - Dutch Index - Amsterdam, Dutch Stock Exchange.

The Amsterdam Stock Exchange is the former name for the stock exchange based in Amsterdam. It merged on 22 September 2000 with the Brussels Stock Exchange and the Paris Stock Exchange to form Euronext, and is now known as Euronext Amsterdam.

The Amsterdam Stock Exchange is considered the oldest in the world. It was established in 1602 by the Dutch East India Company (Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie, or 'VOC') for dealings in its printed stocks and bonds. It was subsequently renamed the Amsterdam Bourse and was the first to formally begin trading in securities.

The European Option Exchange (EOE) was founded in 1978 in Amsterdam as a futures and options exchange. In 1983 it started a stock market index, called the EOE index, consisting of the 25 largest companies that trade on the stock exchange. In 1997 the Amsterdam Stock Exchange and the EOE merged, and its blue chip index was renamed AEX, for 'Amsterdam Exchange'. It is now managed by Euronext Amsterdam.

SX5E - Euro 50 Index - Euronext European Stock Exchange

Euronext was formed on 22 September 2000 following a merger of the Amsterdam Exchanges, Brussels Stock Exchange, and Paris Bourse, in order to take advantage of the harmonization of the financial markets of the European Union.

In December 2001, Euronext acquired the shares of the London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange (LIFFE), forming Euronext.LIFFE. In 2002 the group merged with the Portuguese stock exchange Bolsa de Valores de Lisboa e Porto (BVLP), renamed Euronext Lisbon. In 2001, Euronext became a listed company itself after completing its Initial Public Offering.

FCHI (CAC40) - French Index - Paris, French Stock Exchange

The CAC 40, which takes its name from Paris Bourse's early automation system Cotation Assistée en Continu (Continuous Assisted Quotation), is a French stock market index. The index represents a capitalization-weighted measure of the 40 most significant values among the 100 highest market caps on the Paris Bourse. Its base value of 1,000 was set on 31 December 1987. As of 1 December 2003, the index has become a free float weighted index.

Interestingly, although CAC 40 is composed of "French" companies, about 45% of their shares are owned by foreign investors. German investors share the largest part of it at 21%. Japanese, American and British investors are also important owners - this percentage is unusually high. The explanation can be in the fact that CAC 40 companies, or multinational, are more international than any other European market. Many of these companies conduct business outside of France (63% of the CAC 40 companies' employees are outside of France).

GDAXI (DAX) - German Index - Frankfurt, German Stock Exchange

Established on the orders of Emperor Louis the German to hold free trade fairs, the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse in German) now known as the Deutsche Börse AG, ranks amongst the best trading centres of securities (stocks, bonds, corporate participating certificates, etc.) in the world today. The third Stock Exchange in the world, founded in 1585 after the Stock Exchanges of London and Paris, the Frankfurt Stock Exchange is managed by Deutsche Börse which owns it along with the European Electronic Exchange - Eurex and the clearing company Clearstream.

Possibly the biggest player in the European market with the trading index DAX having risen by a spectacular 21 percent in this current financial year (2007) alone thereby overtaking every other developed market in terms of profits acquired, the Frankfurt Stock Exchange enjoys around 85 percent of the total turnover of the German market.

The major trading index of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange is DAX or DAX 30 (Deutsche Aktien Xchange 30, earlier known as Deutscher Aktien-Index 30). With the prices derived from the global electronic securities trading system -Xetra, DAX or DAX 30 (as the name suggests) is a Blue Chip stock market index comprising of the 30 major German companies enlisted on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

ISEQ - Irish Index - Dublin, Irish Stock Exchange

The Irish Stock Exchange (ISE) (Irish: Stocmhalartán na hÉireann) is Ireland's stock exchange, formed through the merger of the Cork and Dublin exchanges, both of which have existed as far back as 1793. In 1799, the Irish Parliament passed the Stock Exchange (Dublin) Act which regulated the Cork and Dublin Stock Exchanges. In 1973, the Irish exchange merged with the other British and Irish stock exchanges. From 1973 to 1995, the Irish Stock Exchange was a member of the International Stock Exchange of Great Britain and Ireland (now called the London Stock Exchange).

The current independent Irish Stock Exchange was established in 1995, breaking the link with London. On 6 June 6 June 2000, the ISE closed its famous trading floor in Anglesea Street, Dublin 2, and switched to an electronic trading platform called ISE Xetra. This is owned by, and is the same trading platform used by, the Deutsche Börse Group.

The published index of shares is known as the Irish Stock Exchange Quotient or ISEQ Overall Index. Other indexes of the exchange include the ITEQ Index, the ISEQ 20, the ISEQ General, ISEQ SmallCap, and ISEQ Financial.

OBX - Norwegian Index - Oslo Stock Exchange

The OBX Index is a stock market index which lists the 25 most liquid companies on the main index of the Oslo Stock Exchange in Norway. All stocks on the OBX list can be traded with options and futures. The companies on the OBX list are rotated twice a year, on the third Friday of June and December.

SSMI - Swiss Index - Zurich, Swiss Stock Exchange

As a blue-chip index, the SMI is Switzerland's key equity index. It represents about 85% of the free-float capitalisation of the Swiss equity market. The SMI comprises the 20 largest and most liquid equities of the SPI. It is also equivalent to the SPI Large. As a price index, the SMI is not adjusted for dividends, but a performance index that takes account of such distributions is available (the SMIC - SMI Cum Dividend).

Because the SMI is considered to be a mirror of the overall Swiss stock market, it is used as the underlying index for numerous derivative financial instruments such as options, futures and index funds (e.g. ETFs).

The SMI was introduced on 30 June 1988 at a baseline value of 1500 points. Its composition is examined once a year. Calculation takes place in real-time: as soon as a new transaction occurs in a security contained in the SMI, an updated index level is calculated and displayed.

American Markets

SPC - US Index - The S&P 500 Index

The Standard & Poor's 500, often abbreviated as the S&P 500, or just "the S&P", is an American stock market index based on the market capitalizations of 500 large companies having common stock listed on the NYSE or NASDAQ. The S&P 500 index components and their weightings are determined by S&P Dow Jones Indices. It differs from other U.S. stock market indices, such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average or the Nasdaq Composite index, because of its diverse constituency and weighting methodology. It is one of the most commonly followed equity indices, and many consider it one of the best representations of the U.S. stock market, and a bellwether for the U.S. economy. The National Bureau of Economic Research has classified common stocks as a leading indicator of business cycles.

The S&P 500 was developed and continues to be maintained by S&P Dow Jones Indices, a joint venture majority-owned by McGraw Hill Financial. S&P Dow Jones Indices publishes many stock market indices such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P MidCap 400, the S&P SmallCap 600, and the S&P Composite 1500. It is a free-float capitalization-weighted index, and has many ticker symbols, such as: ^GSPC, INX, and $SPX.

DJI - Wall Street Index - Dow Jones

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, also called DJIA, the Industrial Average, the Dow Jones, the Dow Jones Industrial, DJI, the Dow 30, or simply the Dow, is a stock market index, and one of several indices created by Wall Street Journal editor and Dow Jones & Company co-founder Charles Dow. The industrial average was first calculated on May 26, 1896. Currently owned by S&P Dow Jones Indices, which is majority owned by McGraw Hill Financial, it is the most notable of the Dow Averages, of which the first (non-industrial) was first published on February 16, 1885. The averages are named after Dow and one of his business associates, statistician Edward Jones. It is an index that shows how 30 large publicly owned companies based in the United States have traded during a standard trading session in the stock market. It is the second oldest U.S. market index after the Dow Jones Transportation Average, which was also created by Dow.

African Markets

TOP40 - South African Index - FTSE/JSE Top40

The FTSE/JSE Top40 Index is a capitalization weighted index. Companies included in this index are the 40 largest companies by market capitalization included in the FTSE/JSE All Shares Index. The index was developed with a base value of 10399.53 as of June 21, 2002.

Middle East Markets

DFMGI - Dubai Index

The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) (Arabic: سوق دبي المالي‎) is a stock exchange located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It was founded on March 26, 2000.

As of 2014, there are 67 companies listed on DFM. Most of them are UAE-based companies and a few others are dual listings for companies based in other MENA region countries. Foreign companies are from the following countries: Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, and Sudan. Many companies allow foreigners to own their shares.

During 2004 and 2005, there were significant increases in the volume of shares traded and the share prices of many companies. However, towards the end of 2005 and through the first few months of 2006 the bubble burst and share values dropped by around 60% on DFM, along with similar decreases in most other Persian Gulf stock markets.

DFM is one of three stock exchanges in the UAE. Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) also lists mostly UAE companies and NASDAQ Dubai was set up to trade international stocks.

DFM and ADX are both governed and regulated by the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA). SCA has the authority to impose laws and standards in which DFM and ADX have to comply with. SCA’s role is to ensure that the laws are followed by the exchanges as well as to protect investors’, brokers’ and listed companies’ rights.