A guide to the German stock market

Rebecca Cattlin
By :  ,  Former Senior Financial Writer

The German stock market has a huge range of popular and well-known brands listed on it – including Adidas, BMW and Siemens. Learn about the exchanges, companies and indices that make up the German stock market.

What is the German stock market called?

The main German stock market is called the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FSE), which is operated by the company Deutsche Börse. The exchange is accessible in two ways: the electronic Xetra venue and the specialist trading floor of the FSE.

Deutsche Börse Xetra is where most of Germany’s biggest companies are listed – including Volkswagen, SAP and Adidas – and makes up more than 90% of trading on German stocks.

The FSE and Xetra venues are just the country’s two largest stock exchanges, which is why they’re the most used as barometers of Germany’s entire stock market. But there are six others: Berlin, Stuttgart, Munich, Hamburg, Hanover, and Dusseldorf. Most of these are specialist venues for private investors.

What is the German stock market index?

The main German stock market index is called the DAX, which measures the largest 40 companies in Deutsche Börse exchanges by market capitalisation. It’s been the barometer of the country’s market performance for 35 years.

What is the German stock market capitalisation?

The German stock market capitalisation, which is usually measured only as the Deutsche Börse exchanges, accounted for 2.2 trillion euros in July 2023. The DAX index represents about 80% of this total, which is what makes it a good benchmark for the German stock market.

German stock market hours

The Börse Frankfurt stock market hours are Monday to Friday, from 08:00 to 22:00 Central European Summer Time (CEST). While the Xetra has shorter hours that trade from 09:00 to 17:30 (CEST).

The longer hours of the FSE are to meet the needs of the private investors. The FSE doesn’t close for lunch, so is open for a total of 14 hours per day – which is longer than most global exchanges.

What time does the German stock market open?

The German stock market opens at 08:00 (CEST) with the bell of the Börse Frankfurt – and the other specialist exchanges. The FSE does not offer pre-market trading.

The Xetra stock market doesn’t open until 09:00 (CEST), which is when most trading starts.

What time does the German stock market close?

The German stock market closes at 22:00 (CEST), with the final bell of the Börse Frankfurt. The Xetra electronic venue shuts earlier, at 17:30 (CEST).

How to trade the German stock market

You can trade the German stock market via individual company shares or exchange traded funds (ETFs) that track segments of the market. To get started, you’ll need to:

  1. Open your City Index account and add some funds
  2. Log in to our award-winning Web Trader platform or download our mobile trading app
  3. Search for a German stock or ETF
  4. Choose to buy to go long, or sell to go short

Alternatively, you can buy and sell our full selection of stocks and indices – plus forexcommodities and more – with a City Index demo account, which gives you virtual funds to try out trading on live markets with zero risk.

Popular German stocks

According to data from TradingView, the most popular German stocks as of September 9th – measured by trading volume – are:

  1. Commerzbank (CBK)
  2. Deutsche Bank (DBK)
  3. Aroundtown (AT1)
  4. Lufthansa (LHA)
  5. Deutsche Telekom (DTE)
  6. E.ON (EOAN)
  7. Telefonica (O2D)
  8. TUI (TUI1)
  9. Infineon Tech (IFX)
  10. Vonovia (VNA)

For the most up-to-date stock volumes, visit TradingView.

German stock market ETF

It’s also possible to trade the German stock market via an exchange traded fund (ETF), which will hold a basket of securities to reflect the composition of a German stock index.

Examples include:

  • iShares MSCI Germany Index – which seeks to track the results of an index composed of German equities
  • iShares MDAX DE – which seeks to track the performance of an index composed of 50 mid-cap companies listed on the prime segment of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange
  • iShares TecDAX UCITS DE – which seeks to track the performance of an index comprised of the 30 largest technology stocks listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange

German stock market FAQs

What is the German equivalent of the FTSE 100?

The German equivalent of the FTSE 100 is the DAX, the stock index that tracks the blue-chip stocks on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Unlike the FTSE which tracks the top 100 companies by market capitalisation, the DAX only tracks the top 40.

What does the DAX market stand for?

DAX stands for Deutscher Aktien Index, which translates to German stock index. It is the benchmark that’s used to assess the health of the German stock market and broader economy. 

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