What are the Nikkei 225, the Hang Seng, the SSE Composite, and the Straits Times? Asia Market Indexes, Investing Basics

I have written about the Major US Stock Market Indexes and the Major European Market Indexes. It is important to also cover the major Asian market indexes, the Nikkei 225, the Hang Seng, the SSE Composite, and the Straits Times.

The Nikkei 225 index covers the Japanese market. The Hang Seng covers the Hong Kong market. The SSE Composite covers the Shanghai market. The Straits Times covers the Singapore market.

What Is The Nikkei 225?

The Nikkei 225 is the most widely quoted index of the Japanese stock market. The Nikkei website states, “The Nikkei Stock Average is the average price of 225 stocks traded on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, but it is different from a simple average in that the divisor is adjusted to maintain continuity and reduce the effect of external factors not directly related to the market.”

The Nikkei began in 1950. It is interesting that the Nikkei website says, “The average peaked at 38,915.87 points on December 29, 1989.” This is 10 years prior to the dot-com bubble in the US. It appears that the Nikkei has been on a downward trend since 1989.

What Is The Hang Seng?

The Hang Seng website states, “The Hang Seng index is one of the earliest stock market indexes in Hong Kong. Publicly launched on 24 November 1969, the HSI has become the most widely quoted indicator of the performance of the Hong Kong stock market.”

The Hang Seng is a market capitalization weighted index that covers 90% of the Hong Kong market.

What Is The SSE Composite?

The SSE Composite Index website states, “Constituents for SSE Composite Index are all listed stocks (A shares and B shares) at Shanghai Stock Exchange.The Base Day for SSE Composite Index is December 19, 1990. The Base period is the total market capitalization of all stocks of that day. The Base Value is 100. The index was launched on July 15, 1991.”

The SSE Composite Index covers most of the market for companies located in mainland China.

What Is The Straits Times?

The FTSE websites states, “FTSE has partnered with Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and the Singapore Exchange (SGX) to jointly calculate the Singapore stock market’s main benchmark, the Straits Times (ST) Index, also known as the STI, and to create a comprehensive series of stock indices for the Singapore market.”

The website goes on to say the Straits Times Index is “The top 30 companies of the SGX Mainboard universe, ranked by full market capitalisation, that pass the relevant investability screens.”

Basically, the Straits Times Index takes a sampling of 30 of the top companies by market cap in the Singapore stock market. It represents Singapore in much the same way The Dow represents the US market.

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