Last Updated: Jun 07, 2022 Value Broking 9 Mins 2.3K

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Share market indices definition: The share market index is an essential tool that depicts movements in the stock market. The industry, market capitalization, or firm size might all be stock picking factors. 

The share market index is basically statistical data that represents the changes that take place in the stock market. A few similar types of stocks are grouped together and calculated accordingly to create an index. Each stock in the index value is not calculated on the basis of price because the price cannot be a simple function to provide the value of the index.

The underlying stock values calculate the value of the stock market index. Any changes in the underlying shared values influence the index’s total worth. If the prices of the majority of the underlying shares rise, so will the index, and vice versa.

Suppose a share that has a market capitalization of around fifty thousand rupees and the underlying index will be a total market cap of one lakh rupees. Thus the weightage of the mentioned stock will be 50%

In this approach, a share market index reflects the general market mood and the direction of price changes in financial, commodities, and other markets. 

Share Market Indices in India

Now you know what share market indices mean, let’s know about different indices. The following are some noteworthy share market indices in India:

  • Benchmark indices such as the NSE Nifty and the BSE Sensex
  • Nifty 50 and the BSE 100 are examples of a broad-based index.
  • Indices based on market capitalization, such as the BSE Smallcap and BSE Midcap

An index comprises comparable stocks in market capitalization, industry, or business size. The index value is determined once the individuals choose the stocks. Each stock will have a different price, and a change in one stock’s price will not be proportionately comparable to another’s price. As a result, the index value cannot be calculated simply by adding the prices of all the shares.

It is when the importance of stock weighting becomes apparent. Market valuation determines the weightage of each share in the index. 

The weight shows the magnitude of a stock’s price movement’s influence on the index’s value. 

Several indices depend on ethical investing and meet specific ecological or social criteria. 

  • Domini 400 Social Index
  • FTSE4Good Index
  • Calvert Social Index
  • STOXX Global ESG Leaders Index
  • Dow Jones Sustainability Index
  • Several Standard Ethics Aei indices
  • Wilderhill Clean Energy Index.

Diversity (Fernholz, Garvy, and Hannon 1998) weighs other ethical share market indices. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation announced in 2010 the launch of a stock index that adheres to Sharia’s prohibition on alcohol, tobacco, and gambling.

Critics of such programs claim that many corporations meet technical “ethical standards,” such as board composition or hiring processes, yet fail to function ethically concerning shareholders, citing Enron as an example. Indeed, an ethical index’s seeming “stamp of approval” may put investors at rest, allowing frauds to flourish. 

One reaction to these critiques is that confidence in company management, fund or index manager, index criteria, and securities regulators can be tricky to substitute mechanically. Therefore, “market openness” and “disclosure” are the only long-term viable pathways to fair markets. 

It is unclear if ethical indexes or funds will outperform their more conventional equivalents from a financial standpoint. 

According to theory, alternative investment and portfolio efficiency would get artificially decreased & returns would be less. Companies with high social performance may better run, have more devoted employees and customers, and be less prone to suffer reputation harm from incidents (oil spills, industrial tribunals, etc.), resulting in reduced share price volatility. The empirical data on the success of ethical funds and corporations versus their mainstream counterparts in both the stock and debt markets are varied.

Like the S&P 500 Index, some indices have earnings determined using various methodologies. These versions change depending on how the index items are weighted and how profits get calculated. The S&P 500 Index, for example, has three versions: price return, which just analyzes the price of the elements; net profit, which accounts for reinvested dividends; and net total return, which accounts for reinvested dividends after a withholding tax deduction happens.

There are five variants of the Wilshire 4500 and Wilshire 5000 indices: full capitalization total return, full capitalization cost, float-adjusted total return, float-adjusted cost, and equal weight. The weighting of index components differs between total capitalization, float-adjusted, and equivalent weight versions.

Criticism of Capitalization-weighting

One proponent of capitalization weighting contends that all investors must own a capitalization-weighted portfolio. It yields the average annual return for all investors; if some participants do poorly, other investors must perform better (after deducting costs).

To establish allocations, investors employ theories such as the current portfolio theory. It takes into account risk and return but does not consider weights compared to the total market. Overweighting stocks such as value or small-cap stocks may arise if they have a greater risk profile return.

As a result, capitalization-weighting has come under fire, with critics claiming that the principles of capitalization-weighting lead to trend-following strategies with an inefficient risk-return trade-off.

Importance of Stock Indices

Assists in Picking Stocks

Hundreds of companies would be listed on a stock exchange. Choosing the right stock for investing may appear to be a nightmare. You might not tell the difference between equities if you don’t have a benchmark. Sorting the stocks at the same time gets tricky. A share market index operates as an instant differentiator in this case. It categorizes firms and their shares based on essential parameters such as company size, sector, industry type, etc.

Serves as a Delegate

Investing in shares includes risk, and you must make an educated decision. Individual stock research may appear to be complicated. Indices assist in filling information gaps among investors. They represent either the overall market trend or a specific market segment.  NSE Nifty and the BSE Sensex are the Benchmark indices in India. 

They reflect the overall success of the stock market. Similarly, an index composed of pharma stocks represents the average cost of firms active in the healthcare industry.

The Peer Comparison Parameter

Before adding a stock to your portfolio, you must determine whether it is worth the investment. You can know the stock’s performance by comparing it to the index underlaid. If a stock outperforms the index, it has beaten the index. Suppose it makes lower returns; you will consider it underperformed the index. 

You should invest in a multi-bagger to justify the risk you’re taking. Otherwise, investing in low-cost profit-oriented index funds may be better. You can also compare the index to a group of equities, such as those in the information technology industry. As an investor, you may quickly identify market patterns.

Reflects Investor Attitudes

Knowing investor emotions, among other things, becomes critical when trading in the stock market. Because mood influences the demand for a stock, which affects the total price, you must first understand why its price has risen or fallen to buy in the appropriate company. At this point, indexes can assist investors in evaluating their sentiment. You may even notice investor mood for a particular industry or across market capitalizations.

Assists in Passive Investment

Investing in a portfolio of assets that match the equities of an index is referred to as passive investment. Investors that wish to save money on research and stock selection choose to invest in index funds. As a result, the portfolio’s returns will be the same as those of the index. If an investor’s portfolio mirrors the Sensex, his portfolio will yield about 8% returns when Sensex delivers 8% returns.

What are the Share Market Indices?

The following are the two most regularly used stock market indices:

Market Capitalization Weightage

The total market value of a company’s shares is its market capitalization. Calculation of this happens by multiplying the total number of outstanding stocks issued by the corporation by the share price of each stock. As a result, it considers both the price and the size of the stock. In a market-cap weighted index, stocks are allocated weightage depending on their market capitalization relative to the index’s total market capitalization.

Weighted Average Price

The value of an index is derived using this technique based on a company’s stock price rather than its market capitalization. As a result, equities with higher prices have bigger weights in the index than those with lower prices. The Dow Jones Industrial Average in the United States and the Nikkei 225 in Japan have employed this approach.

Other share market Indices are:

Benchmark Indices

The Nifty 50 – a collection of the top 50 best-performing stocks – and the BSE Sensex – a group of the top 30 best-performing equities – are National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange indicators, respectively.

This equities group is regarded as a benchmark index because they employ the best methods to control their selected firms. As a result, you can regard them as the most reliable source of information about how markets work in general.

Sectoral Indices

BSE and the NSE have several solid indicators that gauge firms that fit within a given industry. Indices such as S&P BSE Healthcare and NSE Pharma are good indicators of developments in the pharmaceutical sector. Another notable example would be the S&P BSE PSU and the Nifty PSU. Bank indices are indexes that track all publicly traded public sector banks.

However, both exchanges are not required to provide matching indexes for all industries, yet this is a significant reason in general.

Indices Based on Market Capitalization

Few indexes choose firms based on their market capitalization. Market capitalization refers to the stock exchange’s market value for any publicly listed corporation.

Indices such as the S&P BSE and NSE small cap 50 are firms with a smaller market capitalization in compliance with the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Hundreds of companies would be listed on a stock exchange. Choosing the right stock for investing may appear to be a nightmare. You might not tell the difference between equities if you don’t have a benchmark. Sorting the stocks at the same time gets tricky. A share market index operates as an instant differentiator in this case.

The calculation of nifty is calculated with the help of the free-float market capitalization-weighted method. And the formula for the nifty calculator is as follows:

Nifty = (CMV/ BMC) X BIV
The terms are
CMV = Current market value.
BMC = Base Market Capital
And the BIV is the Base Index Value.
Note that the base index value, in this case, is 1,000.

Some of the indices in the NSE are

  • NIFTY SMLP 100

To read a stock market index, look at the numerical value, which represents the overall performance of a specific group of stocks. Observe the index’s direction (upward, downward, or sideways) and percentage changes to gauge market trends and investor sentiment.

Stock market indexes indicate the performance and direction of a particular stock market segment. They provide a snapshot of how a group of stocks or the overall market is performing, reflecting the collective sentiment of investors and the economy’s health.

a) BSE Sensex: The BSE Sensex is India’s oldest and most widely tracked stock market index. It comprises the 30 largest and most actively traded stocks on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

b) Nifty 50: The Nifty 50, also known as the National Stock Exchange (NSE) Nifty, is India’s prominent stock market index. It comprises the 50 most liquid and well-established stocks listed on the NSE.

c) Nifty Bank: The Nifty Bank index focuses specifically on banking sector stocks. It tracks the performance of the most liquid and large-cap banking stocks listed on the NSE, providing insights into the overall health of the banking industry in India.