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Understanding the significance and benefits of Sensex and Bankex

What is an exchange?

An exchange operates as a marketplace where diverse financial instruments like commodities and securities are traded. It provides a platform where private and public sector organisations, along with other groups, can offer their securities to the public for trading.

Exchanges can take the form of physical markets where traders gather for transactions or electronic platforms. In India, they are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). Major stock exchanges in India include the NSE (National Stock Exchange) and BSE (Bombay Stock Exchange).

What is a stock market index?

A stock market index serves as a statistical tool for gauging fluctuations in the financial market. These indices also function as performance benchmarks, reflecting the performance of a specific market segment or the market as a whole.

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The construction of a stock market index involves the selection of equities from companies that share common characteristics or meet predetermined criteria. These selected shares are already listed on the exchange and actively traded. Share market indices can be created using various criteria, such as industry, sector, or market capitalisation.

What is Sensex?

The Sensex is India's premier stock market index, maintained by the BSE (Bombay Stock Exchange), one of India's oldest and most prominent stock exchanges. Launched in 1986, the Sensex is a reflection of the performance of some of the largest and most actively traded companies listed on the BSE.

The Sensex comprises 30 of the largest and most actively traded stocks on the BSE. These stocks come from diverse sectors, including finance, information technology, energy, consumer goods, and more. The index is calculated using a free-float market-cap weighted method, which means that companies with higher market capitalisation have a greater influence on the index's movements.

The 30 companies included in the Sensex may change over time due to various factors, including market performance and shifts in the economy

The Sensex holds immense importance for various stakeholders in the financial world, and here's why:

  • The Sensex is considered a barometer of the Indian economy's health. As it comprises leading companies from various sectors, its performance provides valuable insights into the overall economic sentiment.
  • Many investors use the Sensex as a benchmark to evaluate the performance of their portfolios. By comparing their returns to the Sensex's performance, they can gauge the effectiveness of their investment strategies.
  • The Sensex has gained international recognition as an indicator of the Indian stock market's strength and resilience.

What is Bankex?

Bankex is a benchmark index that tracks the performance of banking stocks listed on the BSE. It monitors the movement of stocks of banking and financial services companies.

Bankex consists of the top 10 banking stocks listed on the BSE. These components come from different segments of the banking and financial sector, such as public sector banks, private sector banks, non-banking financial companies, and housing finance companies.

The index is calculated using a free-float market map weighted method.

Bankex plays an important role in India's financial landscape for several reasons:

  • Just like the Sensex is a barometer of India's overall economic health, BANKEX serves as a microcosm for the banking sector. Its performance often indicates broader economic trends, as the health of banks is closely linked to the nation's economic well-being.
  • Investors often use Bankex as a benchmark to evaluate the performance of their investments in banking stocks. By comparing their returns to BANKEX's performance, they can assess the effectiveness of their investment strategies.

Benefits of trading in Sensex and Bankex

There are several advantages associated with trading S&P BSE Sensex and Bankex:

Friday expiry 

The Friday expiry feature for S&P BSE Sensex and Bankex provides traders with the flexibility to explore various themes across different expiry dates. Contract expiries occur nearly every trading day. However, starting from October 16, 2023, BSE has shifted the expiry day for Bankex futures and options (F&O) from Fridays to Mondays. 

Lower transaction charges

Trading BSE Sensex and Bankex comes with the benefit of very low to no transaction charges, saving traders on transaction costs.

Lower margin requirements

The BSE Sensex has a smaller lot size of only 10. The reduced lot size results in lower margin requirements per lot of trade, making it more accessible for traders.

Increased trading opportunities

Traders now have two additional broad-based indices to trade in, expanding their range of trading opportunities.

In conclusion, stock markets are key indicators of a nation's economic health, facilitated by exchanges like NSE and BSE. Stock market indices, like Sensex and Bankex, gauge market performance.

Sensex, by BSE, represents 30 major companies and reflects economic health. Bankex tracks top 10 banking stocks, showing economic trends.

Trading these indices offers diversification, flexible contract expiry, low costs, and increased opportunities, making them valuable tools for traders. Understanding them is vital for navigating India's financial markets effectively.


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