How To Trade The DAX Index

As with most indices, although, it is not possible to trade the index directly, the DAX can be traded by a varied of methods, these include the use of Options, Futures and Contracts for Difference (CFDs).

A CFD is an instrument of trade that follows the movement of the asset it monitors (in this case, the DAX Index) and it represents the difference between when a contract is entered and exited.

The advantages of trading the DAX as a CFD include the ability to use leverage as it has a lower margin of requirement than other trading methods, the larger variety of trading options, lower trading costs and global market access from the same platform.

For example, clients of the popular CFD broker Plus500 are given leverage up to 1:300 for trading DAX, this means that a trader would only require £1,000 to open a £300,000 positon. This has the potential to amplify any sucesful trades however, it is important to remember leverage can work both ways and magnify gains and losses.

What Is The DAX Index

The DAX (an abbreviation of Deutscher Aktienindex) is a stock market index made up of 30 major German companies traded on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange – the largest of Germany’s stock exchanges and among the largest trading platforms for securities on the planet.

The DAX index components make up close to three-quarters of the market capitalization on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange1 and it was founded on the 1st of July, 1988 and is operated by the Deutsche Börse, a financial services company which serve as both a marketplace provider and financial services provider

The DAX serves as a counterpart to the UK’s FTSE 100 and the American Dow Jones Industrial Index and as it measures the performance of the 30 largest companies on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, it serves a good indicator of the health of the German economy and the trend of investor sentiment.

The components of the DAX index, as previously mentioned, are the 30 largest companies on the market that are publically traded.

The board of the Deutsche Börse meet every quarter based on Fast Entry and Fast Exit rules, and every September based on Regular Entry and Regular Entry rules, in order to determine of companies should be added to the DAX index, or dropped from the index.

Companies to be added to the DAX index must meet the following requirements: they must be listed on the Prime Standard for at least 3 years prior to inclusion, 10% minimum free float and must have their legal or operating headquarters in Germany.

Foreign companies must have a registered office in Germany as well as have focus of trade on Xetra 2.

Potential components are assessed based on their free float market capitalisation, and order book volume in comparison to existing DAX Index components, availability of early opening prices and turnover3

Current constituents of the DAX Index:

  • Adidas
  • Allianz
  • BASF
  • Bayer
  • Beiersdorf
  • BMW
  • Commerzbank
  • Continental
  • Daimler
  • Deutsche Bank
  • Deutsche Börse
  • Deutsche Lufthansa
  • Deutsche Post
  • Deutsche Telekom
  • E.ON
  • Fresenius
  • Fresenius Medical Care
  • Heidelberg
  • Henkel
  • Infineon Technologies
  • K+S
  • Linde
  • Merck
  • Munich
  • RWE
  • SAP
  • Siemens
  • ThyssenKrupp
  • Volkswagen Group
  • Vonovia4

The top 5 performing stocks on the DAX index as at 11th of March, 2017 include:

1. Commerzbank AG
With a price of 8.29 and an increase of 5.83% over the previous day

2. Deutsche Bank
With a price of 18.26 and an increase of 2.13%

3. Deutsche Börse
With a price of 80.08, an increase of 1.32%

4. Merck
With a price of 101.10 an increase of 1.10%

5. Bayer
With a price of 106.75, an increase of 0.85%5

How Is The DAX Index Calculated

The DAX is a capitalisation weighted index and the prices used in the calculation are taken from Xetra, an electronic trading system invented in Frankfurt, Germany.

Index weightings, as well as trading volume, are calculated using free float methodology, for detailed guide on how the DAX is caluculated, download the PDF here.

Summary

In summary, trading the DAX with a CFD offers traders the ability utilise short selling and leverage into their trading strategy.