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The ATX index is the most widely-used indicator of the performance of the Wiener Börse AG – Vienna’s only stock exchange. It is composed of 20 stocks that are commonly traded on the exchange and is a key metric used for measuring the health of the Austrian economy.
This page will give you a brief insight into the history of the ATX index, how the companies whose stocks are tracked by it are selected, and how you can invest in it.
While the Wiener Börse AG exchange was founded all the way back in 1771, the ATX index emerged on the 1st February 1991 with a base value of 1,000 index points. It is a Euro-based price index that gives updates in real time and trades between 09:00 and 17:45 (CET).
In terms of economic performance over that time, the Austrian economy was particularly harshly hit by the 2007-08 financial crisis, with the ATX index reaching its highest ever level of 5010.93 in July 2007, only to collapse to under 2009 by the start of 2009. The index recovered from this low, but has never again reached the levels it saw before the crash – only managing to climb above 3000 again during 2017.
Decisions as to which companies’ stocks are tracked by the ATX are made twice a year in March and September. No more than three stocks are ever added or removed at any one time, and the main contributing factors in any decision are the company’s stock exchange trading volumes and capitalised free float.
Erste Bank and OMV currently have the largest weighting of all companies within the index – accounting for more than 30% of the portfolio between them.
Using a financial instrument called an Index Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF), you can invest in stocks to mirror the performance of the ATX index as closely as possible, while at the same time still having the option of trading your investment on an exchange.
This is popular among traders as it enables the investment diversification that one can find with an index fund, but also still allows the product to be traded with others.