What is the DAX 40 index?
The DAX, also known as the Deutscher Aktienindex (German stock index), is a blue-chip stock market index that represents the performance of the 40 largest and most liquid companies listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (Börse Frankfurt) in Germany.
The companies included in the DAX 40 index span various sectors of the German economy, including automotive, banking, chemicals, technology, and more. Some well-known companies listed on the DAX include Volkswagen, Porsche, Siemens, Bayer, SAP, Deutsche Bank, and Adidas.
The DAX 40 is a weighted index, meaning that the companies with a larger market capitalisation have a greater impact on the index's performance.
DAX 40 historical performance
Debuting in 1988, the DAX initially tracked the performance of the 30 largest and most liquid corporations listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. In 2021, the index expanded its scope to encompass 40 enterprises.
The DAX enjoyed a robust performance throughout the 1990s, fuelled by Germany's reunification and remarkable economic expansion, propelling it to the position of Europe's largest economy.
However, the index faced significant downturns in the wake of the dot-com bubble's burst in the early 2000s. These challenges persisted through the Global Financial Crisis (2007–2009) and the Eurozone crisis in 2010.
Once investors regained faith in the eurozone, the DAX began to recover in 2011. This marked the start of a long-term boom for Germany's economy, which benefited from the ECB's supportive monetary policy and Germany’s increased exports.
What affects the price of the DAX 40 index?
The price of the DAX 40 index can be influenced by several factors, including:
- Earnings reports: The financial performance and earnings reports of the individual companies listed on the DAX can have a significant impact on the index price. If the constituent companies report strong earnings and positive outlooks, it can drive the index price higher. Conversely, disappointing earnings or negative outlooks can lead to a decline in the index.
- Macroeconomic indicators: Economic data such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, inflation rates, interest rates, and unemployment figures can significantly impact the DAX index. Positive economic indicators boost investor confidence and can drive the index higher, while negative indicators can lead to a decline.
- Global market trends: Like any major index, the DAX is subject to global market trends, particularly those from other significant stock markets like the US, China, and in Europe. Developments in international markets, geopolitical events, and global economic conditions can have spillover effects on the DAX index.
- Investor sentiment: Investor sentiment and market psychology play a crucial role in determining the direction of the DAX index. Positive sentiment, driven by optimism and confidence, tends to push the index higher, while negative sentiment, fuelled by uncertainty or fear, can lead to a decline. Traders should pay attention to indicators such as investor surveys, market breadth, and volatility measures like the Volatility Index (VIX).
- Currency exchange rates: The DAX index is denominated in euros. Changes in exchange rates between the euro and other major currencies, such as the US dollar, can affect the performance of the DAX. Currency fluctuations can impact the competitiveness of DAX-listed companies in international markets, affecting their stock prices and, consequently, the overall index.
- Corporate and political events: Corporate events such as mergers, acquisitions, bankruptcies, and even management changes within the companies listed on the DAX can have an impact on the index. Additionally, political events, policy changes, and regulatory decisions can influence investor sentiment and affect the performance of the DAX index.
- Major corporate events: Events including mergers, acquisitions, bankruptcies, or major product launches involving companies listed on the DAX can have an impact on the overall price of the index.
What to watch out for when trading the DAX 40 index?
When trading the DAX index, there are several key market events, announcements, and other factors that traders commonly monitor. These can include:
- Corporate earnings releases from DAX-listed companies such as Bayer, SAP, and Volkswagen
- Germany GDP figures
- European Central Bank (ECB) monetary policy announcements, including interest rates and quantitative easing
- Germany’s manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI)
- German Trade Balance and import/export data