Swiss Market Index trading

SMI index trading

As Switzerland’s most important stock index, the SMI (Swiss Market Index) features the 20 largest and most liquid blue-chip companies in Switzerland and Liechtenstein; it represents nearly 90% of the total capitalization and trading volume of the Swiss Stock Market.

The SMI was established on June 30, 1988 with an initial value of 1,500 points. The composition of the Swiss Market Index is reviewed annually. The Full market capitalization (as of 29.12.2017) was CHF 1,145 bn.

The SMI (also known as Swiss 20) reached all-time highs on 21/07/1998 (8489.00), 04/06/2007 (9548.09) and 24/1/2018 (9616.38), followed by periods of strong downtrends, resulting in the 05/10/1998 (5108.30), 12/3/2003 (3618.00), 9/3/2009 (4234.96) and 11/02/2016 (7425.05) lows.

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SMI Trading Information

  • MT4 Symbol: SMI
  • Trading Time: Monday: Friday 07:00-20:59 GMT
  • Country: Switzerland
  • Currency: CHF
  • Exchange: EUREX

SMI Index Composition and Calculation

Just like Germany’s DAX 30 the SMI is a free-float, capitalization-weighted index, whose components are selected based on minimum capitalization thresholds and turnover rate as measured each September.

The largest securities are taken from the Swiss Performance Index (SPI), Switzerland’s overall stock market index. The index includes all the companies publicly traded on the SIX Swiss Exchange.

SIX was one of the first exchange to launch electronic trading and cease floor trading, back in 1996. Together with the Deutsche Börse (the German Stock Exchange company), SIX contributed to the creation of Eurex, the third largest derivatives exchange in the world.

The SMI Index is a component of the SMI® Family of the SIX Swiss Exchange, which also includes the SMI®, SMIM® and the SMI Expanded®. The SMI now includes 20 securities (before the 2007 restructuring, the number of stocks included in the index was 25).

The index value is calculated by dividing the market cap of each individual component by a divisor. The divisor is a number that is established arbitrarily to produce a value that can be compared over time.

The initial value for the SMI was set at 1,500 points on June 30, 1988. In September 2017, the board introduced an amendment to the calculation mechanism to comply with the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) guidelines on diversification, establishing a weighting cap, whereby no company can have a weighting over 18% at any one time.

Top 5 Companies on the SMI

Company Industry
Nestlé (NESN) Food products
Novartis (NOVN) Pharmaceutical
Roche Holding (ROG) Pharmaceutical
UBS (UBSG) Banking & Financial Services
Zurich (ZURN) Full-Line Insurance

The Factors Influencing the Overall Index Price of the SMI

There are many internal (country-wide) and external (sectorial economic shifts) factors that influence the performance of the SMI.

Given Switzerland’s strong reliance on exports, monetary policy decisions of the Swiss National Bank and trade agreements with its main trade partners (like the European Union) have a strong influence on the index price (such as the 2014 Swiss Referendum on limiting free movement of people from the EU and the 2015 decision to drop the EUR/CHF peg after the 2008 financial crisis).

Switzerland is an important economy in Europe, especially in the health care, consumer goods, banking and insurance sectors. Many Swiss companies operate directly or through subsidiaries across the European Union and beyond. Maintaining access to the Single Market is seen as fundamental for the national interest and for the Swiss economy.

Sector Representation

Sector Weight (%)
Health Care 37.52
Consumer Goods 24.03
Financials 21.62
Industrials 13.63
Basic Materials 1.84
Telecommunications 1.35

Given the strong reliance on Swiss products and services all over the world, it comes as no surprise that the Swiss Market Index is highly influenced by international political and market events.

The health care sector accounts for almost 40% of the index composition. This is why health policy in the United States, one of the main markets for the pharmaceutical industry, can cause market shocks in Switzerland. For example, President’s Trump speech in 2017, saying that the US should negotiate better prices with drug companies, has led the entire sector to the verge of a crash.

The performance of world markets has a direct impact on the price of the Swiss Market Index, as there is an inherent correlation between world indices and the SMI. Other factors that may affect the price of the Swiss Market include: interest rates decisions, elections, change of trade policy, financial crisis, main partners’ events, Swiss national referenda, etc.

Trading on the SMI

The SMI is one of the most traded instruments in the world and an underlying asset to various derivative financial products, including CFDs.

The key benefits of trading the SMI include:

  • High liquidity
  • Full transparency
  • Relatively predictable price dynamics outside crisis situations
  • Ease of access to information regarding main index price movers
  • Vast news coverage

Why trade SMI CFDs with AvaTrade

  • Potential profits on rising and falling market
  • Low capital requirements to gain a high exposure on the Swiss Market
  • High leverage of up to 50:1 on the SMI index
  • Free educational tools like Sharp Trader, webinars, video tutorial and much more
  • Multilingual 24/5 customer service via email, live chat and phone
  • Dedicated account managers
  • A number of free platforms to trade, even on the go with AvaTradeGO app for iOS and Android.
  • Automated trading software available

Are you ready to trade on the Swiss Market? Make your deposit, start trading with as little as $100 and get up to a $10,000 trading bonus!