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CAC 40

How to analyse the CAC 40 index rate?

Trade now on the CAC 40!

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If you wish to take a position online of the major French stock market index, the CAC 40, then you will first need to prepare comprehensive analyses. In this article dedicated to this stock market asset you can learn all you need to know about the operation and the function of the CAC 40, its composition as well as the factors you should take into consideration before starting to trade in it online.  

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Elements to consider before investing in this asset

Analysis N°1

Market sentiment: Of course, this indicator is crucial because the investment climate and the general sentiment of traders will have a considerable impact on the evolution and trends of the French market and therefore the CAC 40.

Analysis N°2

Micro-economic indicators: Then there are the micro-economic indicators with some important aspects to consider in your fundamental analysis such as the periods of publication of the financial results of companies, annual or quarterly, the financial analysis of the shares of the companies that have an important weight in the index and other elements of this kind that will have an influence on the valuation of this stock market index.

Analysis N°3

The weighting of the companies: As mentioned above, in order to analyse the CAC 40 stock market index, you must be able to follow the stocks that make it up and, in particular, the evolution of the share price of the companies with the highest weighting, which will of course have a greater impact than the others.

Analysis N°4

Monetary policy: The value of the euro against other currencies on the foreign exchange market will of course have a direct impact on the profitability of French companies as it will influence their export competitiveness and the cost of their imports. The monetary policy of the European Central Bank or ECB will therefore be followed with great interest. The ECB can influence the various asset classes and its decisions are often reflected in the value of the euro and the CAC.

Analysis N°5

The foreign exchange market: As we have just said, the value of the euro against other market currencies will have an influence on the competitiveness and profitability of European and therefore French companies. It will therefore be necessary to keep a close eye on the currency market and to monitor fluctuations in the euro-dollar parity.

Analysis N°6

Other stock markets: The evolution of the CAC 40 stock index is also influenced by the other world financial markets. There is indeed a correlation between the various international stock exchanges and a sectoral crisis affecting one country can thus have repercussions on the French market and therefore on the CAC 40 index.

Analysis N°7

Trade conflicts: Finally, it goes without saying that France's economic and trade policy and possible trade wars with other countries should be closely monitored in this analysis. Protectionist measures or an increase in customs tariffs may indeed penalise CAC 40 listed companies.

How to analyse the CAC 40 index rate?
Trade now on the CAC 40!
{etoroCFDrisk}% of retail CFD accounts lose money -
Trade now on the CAC 40!

What is the CAC 40 and what does this stock market index represent?

Let us initially examine the major factors of the CAC 40 Index that you should know to be able to analyse this index correctly.

The CAC 40 is a French stock market Index which, as its name suggests, is composed of the top 40 French companies quoted on the Paris Euronext stock market. This index is therefore part of one of the leaders of the European financial marketplaces, Euronext, and alone represents over 80% of the French financial markets.

The companies of which the CAC 40 stock market index is composed are selected from among the top 100 French companies from different activity sectors that represent as objectively as possible the state and the health of the French economy.

From a historical point of view, we would note that the CAC 40 stock market index was created on the 31 December 1987 when its initial quote was for 1,000 points. It was the ‘Compagnie des Agents de Change’, hence the initials CAC, that created this index following the crash of 1987. However since then things have changed. The initials now represent the name ‘Cotation Assistée en Continu’ simply because the rate for this index is updated every 15 seconds during the opening hours from Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.

Of course, the list of companies represented on the CAC 40 Index changes over time, as with other international stock market indices. Certain companies exit this index and others with a higher stock market capital take their place.

However, certain particularly solid companies have been included in the CAC 40 since it was first created. These are as follows: Accor, Air Liquide, Carrefour, Danone, Lafarge-Holcim, l’Oreal, LVMH, Michelin, Saint Gobain, Sanofi, Société Générale and Vivendi. It should also be noted that since its creation 32 years ago, 94 French companies have at one time or another been included in this index.


How is the CAC 40 stock market index rate calculated?

Understanding the operation of the CAC 40 and its composition is clearly very important but it is also necessary to know how its rate is calculated. This is what we shall now explain.

To understand this method of calculation, it should first be remembered that in December 2003 the CAC 40 adopted a floating stock market capital calculation method that takes into account the number of shares available for purchase on the market by the quoted company. This modified method of calculation aims to be close to that used already for the major international stock market indices.

To summarise, the calculation of the CAC 40 rate is based on the stock market capital of the companies of which it is composed and it is obtained through the multiplication of the number of shares of each company on the market by the price of the shares.

Concerning the management of the CAC 40 index, notably the updates of the assets of which it is composed, it is the scientific Board of the Euronext stock market indices, composed of a number of independent experts of these stock market indices, that is responsible for these revisions and decides therefore which companies enter or exit this index with the aim of providing a fair representation. This board of eight independent experts from universities, industry and analysts meet every three months, on the third Friday in March, June, September, and December. When making their decisions they take into account the transaction volume of the company’s shares, the representation in the activity sectors on a national level, and the fluidity and regular trading of the assets.


Historical evolution of the CAC 40 :


A technical analysis of the CAC 40 index rate and the indicators to follow:

The second analysis you should use to study the growth possibilities of the CAC 40 index is the technical analysis.

This is based uniquely on the study of this index’s charts and its current and historical rates. To complete a comprehensive technical analysis it is however important to have some understanding of the methodology and principal technical trend and volatility indicators as follows:

The more indicators you use the more pertinent and precise your analyses will be. Of course, for this you should pay careful attention to the charts you use for this analysis and in particular favour those that can be personalised to your requirements. These charts, available from online brokers, will actually enable you to generate different displays of curves, timelines and indicators for a clearer visibility. Then you simply have to interpret the movements that you observe on your monitor to obtain the required signals.

We would nonetheless draw your attention to the fact that this technical analysis should never be used alone, always with an accompanying comprehensive fundamental analysis, whatever the asset you are studying.


The different ways to trade the CAC 40

The CAC 40 is the most important French stock market index, made up of the 40 largest companies listed on the Paris Stock Exchange. Investors can trade the CAC 40 in different ways depending on their objectives, risk level and experience. So let's find out the different ways to trade the CAC 40.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I follow the CAC 40 course live?

The price of the CAC 40 stock market index can be viewed live from many websites specializing in the stock market and you can also find real-time graphs of this value on your broker's trading platform with valuable and customizable technical indicators . Note that the CAC 40 shares are listed on the Euronext Paris market.

Can we speculate directly on the price of the CAC 40?

While it is of course possible to trade and even buy stocks that are listed on the CAC 40 stock index, know that it is also possible to speculate on this index directly. The price of the CAC 40 is a value on which you can speculate upwards or downwards through CFDs or contracts on the difference, accessible from online trading platforms.

What influences the price of the CAC 40?

As we have seen, the price of the CAC 40 is influenced above all by the evolution of the price of the shares that make it up and more specifically still by the price of the shares of listed companies with the largest capitalization. We can also anticipate its variations by studying the economic health of France in general with the indicators published each month or even by following the decisions of the ECB which influence the euro.

Trade now on the CAC 40!

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