Economy

Optimism about vaccinations propels AEX to its highest level in 20 years

The AEX index, the most important indicator of the Amsterdam stock exchange, rises approximately 1 percent to about 644 points and the index was even slightly higher in between. This puts the AEX at its highest intraday point since January 4, 2001.

If we close around the current level, then that is even the highest slot since mid-December 2000. To give you an idea: then we still paid in guilders in the shop, the Twin Towers in New York were still there and Willem-Alexander was then not yet a king and not even married yet.

Potato chips

The strongest risers today are chip machine manufacturers ASML and ASMI, Just Eat Takeaway and Prosus. ASML and ASMI benefit from better than expected figures from the European chip maker STMicroelectronics.

The results of the American chipmaker Micron, the Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC and the South Korean technology group Samsung are also good. ASML and ASMI have many large chip manufacturers as customers.

Vaccines

The stock market has been doing well for a long time. Investors are optimistic that vaccination can ease or even lift lockdowns. That will then boost the economy and thus the profits of companies. After all, we can then again spend money in the catering industry and travel again.

Unemployment has increased somewhat, but most people still have work and therefore income. “Because we could spend our money less easily, there may soon be catch-up demand”, thinks RTL Z stock exchange commentator Durk Veenstra.

US Senate

Now that the Democrats in the US also have the say in the Senate, Veenstra thinks that after the inauguration of Joe Biden as the new US president, there will be more support for the economy in the form of stimulus packages if necessary, Veenstra thinks. Biden doesn’t have to try to convince the Republicans for a majority.

Partly because of this, it is also hosanna on the stock markets in the US. Yesterday record levels were set on Wall Street, with tech index Nasdaq even finishing above 13,000 points for the first time.

Other AEX index

The composition of the current AEX index is very different from that of 20 years ago. At the time, for example, UPC and KPNQwest were still in the index. The latter company has been bankrupt for a long time, and the cable company is now part of VodafoneZiggo.

The weighting of the index has also changed. ASML is now one of the most important stocks.

Oil overtaken by tech

Furthermore, the price levels are of a completely different order. For example, a share of heavyweight Shell cost about 32 euros 20 years ago and now it is only half. Shell therefore contributes much less to the level of the index.

ASML, on the other hand, saw the price explode, from 27 euros 20 years ago to 415 euros now.

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