Equity investors exploring international investment opportunities often come across indices like FTSE 100, Nikkei 225, DAX, and Euro Stoxx 50. Geographical diversification helps minimize the risk. The Euro Stoxx 50 index is a good way to get some exposure to blue-chip companies in the Eurozone area. Let’s find out how this index works and how you can invest in the index.
How it works
The Euro Stoxx 50 index was created in February 1998 by the index provider Stoxx, which is owned by Deutsche Borse Group. It is often used as a barometer of the Eurozone economy. According to Stoxx, the index aims to provide a "blue-chip representation of supersector leaders in the Eurozone."
It consists of 50 stocks from 11 Eurozone countries - Germany, France, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Ireland, Luxembourg, and Portugal. The index is designed to represent the performance of the leading companies across 20 Euro Stoxx Supersector Indices. The Supersector Indices are the subsets of the Euro Stoxx Index.
Also, there are country specific Euro Stoxx 50 sub-indices for France, Italy, Spain, Germany, and the Netherlands. Each country's sub-index includes stocks from that particular country within the Index.
The Euro Stoxx 50 Index captures roughly 60% of the free-float market cap of the Euro Stoxx Total Market Index, which itself covers about 95% of the free-float market cap of the countries represented in the index. The index value is calculated every 15 seconds between 09:00 CET and 18:00 CET.
It's a free float market-cap weighted index, meaning the constituent companies are weighted based on the market value of their outstanding shares. The index is reviewed every year in September. It has fast-entry and fast-exit rules to ensure that the index represents the accurate performance of the largest and most liquid stocks.
Only companies from Eurozone member countries can become part of the index. Here's the detailed methodology Stoxx uses to review and update the index. As of April 24, 2020, the largest constituents of the index are:
- SAP SE
- ASML Holding NV
- Sanofi SA
- Linde Plc
- LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE
- Total SA
- Allianz SE
- Siemens AG
- Unilever NV
- L'Oreal SA
How to invest in Euro Stoxx 50
If you want to get exposure to Eurozone's largest stocks, the best way is to invest via exchange-traded funds (ETFs). One of the most popular NYSE-listed ETFs tracking the index is the SPDR EURO STOXX 50 ETF (NYSE: FEZ). Another is the iShares EURO STOXX 50 ETF (NYSE: EUE). You can buy and sell ETFs just like regular stocks.