Stock markets defy geopolitical and economic challenges in first half of 2023
The international stock markets showed overall positive momentum in the first half of 2023, despite the continuing challenging environment. The dominant themes in the market environment remained the war in Ukraine and continuing high price levels in many areas, albeit slightly weaker compared to the peak level in 2022. Low demand due to the economic situation had a negative impact on the market, as did the strict continuation of the interest rate turnaround by the central banks and negative signals in the banking environment. In addition, the continuing economic weakness in China contributed to latent insecurity on the markets. On the other hand, the fact that the immediate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continued to wane had a positive effect. Companies were also able to work through their order books, partly due to the easing of supply chain issues. Another driving factor was that the outlook for many industries eased. As a result, share prices on the financial markets were generally positive, with some stock market barometers even reaching near all-time highs in the first half of 2023.
The largely positive underlying sentiment on the markets was also reflected in the performance of the German indices. The DAX, Germany’s leading index, reached a new record level of 16,358 points at the end of the first half of 2023. Overall, it ended the first six months of 2023 at 16,148 points, a significant increase of 16.0% compared to the end of 2022. By comparison, the performance of the MDAX was somewhat more moderate. It ended the first half of 2023 at 27,611 points, up 9.9% from the end of December 2022. The SDAX closed at 13,401 points at the end of June 2023, 12.4% higher than at the end of 2022.
The US Dow Jones Index ended the first half of 2023 with a gain of 11.8% compared to the end of 2022, while the broader S&P 500 Index ended the first half of 2023 with an even more significant increase of 17.6%. The MSCI World Automobiles Index, considered a trend indicator for the global stock market, was trading at 303 points on June 30, 2023, up 56.6% compared to the end of 2022.