CAC 40 Index France

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Written By
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Written By
Jemma Grist
Jemma is a writer, editor and fact-checker focused on retail trading and investing. Jemma brings a unique perspective to the forex, stock, and cryptocurrency markets and works across several investment websites as a researcher and broker analyst.
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Edited By
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Edited By
Tobias Robinson
Tobias is a partner at DayTrading.com, director of a UK limited company and active trader. He has over 25 years of experience in the financial industry and contributed via CySec to the regulatory response to digital options and CFD trading in Europe. Toby’s expertise and dedication to financial education make him a trusted voice in the industry, including a BBC investigation into digital options.
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Fact Checked By
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William Berg
William contributes to several investment websites, leveraging his experience as a consultant for IPOs in the Nordic market and background providing localization for forex trading software. William has worked as a writer and fact-checker for a long row of financial publications.
Updated

CAC-40 brokers provide access to the French stock market that tracks the performance of the 40 largest companies trading on the Euronext Paris. This article will explore how the CAC-40 is made up, how it works, who its biggest players are and what investors can glean from watching it. Importantly, we also list the best brokers with access to the CAC-40 in 2024 and share tips for comparing platforms.

CAC-40 Brokers

These are the 7 best brokers for trading on the CAC 40 Index France:

Click a broker for details
  1. 1
    FOREX.com
    Active Trader Program With A 15% Reduction In Costs

    Ratings
    4.9 / 5
    4 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4.6 / 5
    4.6 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4.8 / 5
    4.5 / 5
    3.6 / 5
    3.8 / 5

    $100
    0.01 Lots
    1:50
    NFA, CFTC
    Forex, Stocks, Futures, Futures Options
    MT4, MT5, TradingView, eSignal, AutoChartist, TradingCentral
    Wire Transfer, Credit Card, Debit Card, Visa, Mastercard, Skrill, Neteller, ACH Transfer
    USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, JPY, CHF, PLN
  2. 2
    DNA Markets

    Ratings
    3 / 5
    4 / 5
    4 / 5
    3.9 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    3.6 / 5
    1.8 / 5
    1.6 / 5
    4.8 / 5
    4.4 / 5

    $100
    0.01 Lots
    1:500
    ASIC
    CFDs, Forex, Indices, Commodities, Stocks, Crypto
    MT4, MT5
    Credit Card, Debit Card, Wire Transfer, BPAY, Skrill, Neteller, Bitcoin Payments, Bitwallet, AstroPay, Mastercard
    USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, NZD, SGD
  3. 3
    Pocket Option
    50% Deposit Bonus

    Ratings
    2 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    2.5 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    3.3 / 5
    3.3 / 5
    3 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    4 / 5
    4.2 / 5

    $50
    $1
    MISA
    Binary Options, Currencies, Commodities, Stocks, Indices, Cryptos
    Web, MT4, MT5
    Wire Transfer, Credit Card, Bitcoin Payments, Volet, Perfect Money, Visa, Mastercard, Debit Card, WebMoney, FasaPay, Ethereum Payments, Maestro, JetonCash
    USD
  4. 4
    RedMars

    Ratings
    3.3 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    3.8 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    3.8 / 5
    4 / 5
    2.8 / 5
    3 / 5
    4.7 / 5
    4.6 / 5

    €250
    0.01 Lots
    1:30 (Retail), 1:500 (Pro)
    CySEC
    CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Cryptos
    MT5
    Credit Card, Wire Transfer, Debit Card, Sticpay, FasaPay, Bitcoin Payments, Trustly, PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, Klarna, Mastercard, Visa
    USD, EUR
  5. 5
    Interactive Brokers

    Ratings
    4.5 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    4.5 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    3.3 / 5
    3 / 5
    4.4 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4.5 / 5

    $0
    $100
    1:50
    FCA, SEC, FINRA, CFTC, CBI, CIRO, SFC, MAS, MNB, FINMA
    Stocks, Options, Futures, Forex, Funds, Bonds, ETFs, Mutual Funds, CFDs, Cryptocurrencies
    Trader Workstation (TWS), IBKR Desktop, GlobalTrader, Mobile, Client Portal, AlgoTrader, OmniTrader, eSignal, TradingCentral
    Cheque, ACH Transfer, Wire Transfer, Automated Customer Account Transfer Service, TransferWise, Debit Card
    USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, INR, JPY, SEK, NOK, DKK, CHF, AED, HUF
  6. 6
    ForexChief
    $100 No Deposit Bonus

    $10
    0.01 Lots
    1:1000
    VFSC
    CFDs, Forex, Metals, Commodities, Stocks, Indices
    MT4, MT5
    Wire Transfer, Bitcoin Payments, Credit Card, UnionPay, Skrill, Neteller, WebMoney, Perfect Money, Debit Card, Ethereum Payments, FasaPay, Volet
    USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CHF
  7. 7
    Plexytrade
    120% Cash Welcome Bonus

    Ratings
    1.5 / 5
    2.5 / 5
    2.5 / 5
    3.3 / 5
    2.5 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    0.5 / 5
    0.5 / 5
    4.8 / 5
    4.7 / 5

    $50
    0.01
    1:2000
    Unregulated
    CFDs, Forex, Indices, Stocks, Commodities, Crypto
    MT4, MT5
    Bitcoin Payments, Ethereum Payments
    USD, EUR

Here is a short overview of each broker's pros and cons

  1. FOREX.com - Founded in 1999, FOREX.com is now part of StoneX, a financial services organization serving over one million customers worldwide. Regulated in the US, UK, EU, Australia and beyond, the broker offers thousands of markets, not just forex, and provides excellent pricing on cutting-edge platforms.
  2. DNA Markets - DNA Markets is a forex and CFD broker established in 2020. The broker operates two entities in Australia and the offshore jurisdiction, St Vincent and the Grenadines. Traders can access 800+ markets, with a Standard account for beginners and a Raw account for experienced traders. The reliable MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms are available, alongside Signal Start.
  3. Pocket Option - Established in 2017, Pocket Option is a binary options broker offering high/low contracts on forex, stocks, indices, commodities and cryptocurrencies. With over 100,000 active users and a global reach, the platform continues to prove popular with budding traders.
  4. RedMars - Launched in 2020, Cyprus-based RedMars offers competitive spreads on more than 300 instruments and leverage up to 1:500. Three accounts are available - Standard, Pro and VIP - serving a range of budgets and experience levels, with a fast and fully digital account opening process.
  5. Interactive Brokers - Interactive Brokers (IBKR) is a premier brokerage, providing access to 150 markets in 33 countries, along with a suite of comprehensive investment services. With over 40 years of experience, this Nasdaq-listed firm adheres to stringent regulations by the SEC, FCA, CIRO, and SFC, amongst others, and is one of the most trusted brokers for trading around the globe.
  6. ForexChief - xChief is a foreign exchange and CFD broker, established in 2014. The company is based offshore and registered with the VFSC and FMA. Users can choose between a wide selection of accounts and base currencies, making ForexChief accessible to global traders. The brand also stands out for its no deposit bonus and fee rebates for high-volume traders.
  7. Plexytrade - Established in 2024 and headquartered in Saint Lucia, Plexytrade is an ECN/STP broker. Geared towards active traders, it supports four account options, crypto deposits and withdrawals, plus very high leverage up to 1:2000 made possible by its unregulated status.

FOREX.com

"FOREX.com remains a best-in-class brokerage for active forex traders of all experience levels, with over 80 currency pairs, tight spreads from 0.0 pips and low commissions. The powerful charting platforms collectively offer over 100 technical indicators, as well as extensive research tools."

Christian Harris, Reviewer

FOREX.com Quick Facts

Bonus OfferActive Trader Program With A 15% Reduction In Costs
Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsForex, Stocks, Futures, Futures Options
RegulatorNFA, CFTC
PlatformsMT4, MT5, TradingView, eSignal, AutoChartist, TradingCentral
Minimum Deposit$100
Minimum Trade0.01 Lots
Leverage1:50
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, JPY, CHF, PLN

Stock Exchanges

FOREX.com offers trading on 14 stock exchanges:

  • Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)
  • Borsa Italiana
  • CAC 40 Index France
  • DAX GER 40 Index
  • Dow Jones
  • Euronext
  • FTSE UK Index
  • Hang Seng
  • Hong Kong Stock Exchange
  • IBEX 35
  • Japan Exchange Group
  • Nasdaq
  • S&P 500
  • SIX Swiss Exchange

Pros

  • With over 20 years of experience, excellent regulatory oversight, and multiple accolades including runner-up in our 'Best Forex Broker' awards, FOREX.com boasts a global reputation as a trusted brokerage.
  • The in-house Web Trader continues to shine as one of the best-designed platforms for aspiring day traders with a slick design and over 80 technical indicators for market analysis.
  • Alongside a choice of leading platforms, FOREX.com offers a superb suite of supplementary tools including Trading Central research, SMART Signals pattern scanner, trading signals, and strategy builders.

Cons

  • FOREX.com's MT4 platform offers approximately 600 instruments, significantly fewer than the over 5,500 available on its non-MetaTrader platforms.
  • There’s no negative balance protection for US clients, so you may find yourself owing more money than your initial deposit into your account.
  • Funding options are limited compared to leading alternatives like IC Markets and don’t include many popular e-wallets, notably UnionPay and POLi.

DNA Markets

"DNA Markets is an excellent choice for short-term traders familiar with the MetaTrader platforms. The smooth sign-up process also makes it easy to get started while the $100 minimum deposit is accessible. That said, DNA Markets trails the top brokers in education, research and mobile trading. "

Jemma Grist, Reviewer

DNA Markets Quick Facts

Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsCFDs, Forex, Indices, Commodities, Stocks, Crypto
RegulatorASIC
PlatformsMT4, MT5
Minimum Deposit$100
Minimum Trade0.01 Lots
Leverage1:500
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, NZD, SGD

Stock Exchanges

DNA Markets offers trading on 14 stock exchanges:

  • Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)
  • CAC 40 Index France
  • DAX GER 40 Index
  • Dow Jones
  • Euronext
  • FTSE UK Index
  • Hang Seng
  • Japan Exchange Group
  • Nasdaq
  • New York Stock Exchange
  • Russell 2000
  • S&P 500
  • SIX Swiss Exchange
  • Toronto Stock Exchange

Pros

  • DNA Markets offers top-rate platforms and charting tools for day traders with access to MT4 and MT5
  • Convenient account funding is available with 7 base currencies, a $100 deposit and a wide range of payment methods
  • Short-term trading strategies are permitted including scalping and automated trading using Expert Advisors (EAs)

Cons

  • Although it continues to strengthen its client base and reputation, DNA Markets lacks the track record of top brokers like Vantage
  • Unlike many alternatives, there are limited educational and research tools for traders seeking an all-in-one solution
  • Despite access to MT4 and MT5, there is no proprietary trading app for seamless account management whilst on the go

Pocket Option

"Pocket Option excels for its easy-to-use web platform which provides a best-in-class user experience for short-term binary traders. The $50 minimum deposit is also accessible for beginners while opening an account is really easy. Looking at the negatives, Pocket Option still trails alternatives in its market offering and regulatory credentials."

Jemma Grist, Reviewer

Pocket Option Quick Facts

Bonus Offer50% Deposit Bonus
Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsBinary Options, Currencies, Commodities, Stocks, Indices, Cryptos
RegulatorMISA
PlatformsWeb, MT4, MT5
Minimum Deposit$50
Minimum Trade$1
Account CurrenciesUSD

Stock Exchanges

Pocket Option offers trading on 11 stock exchanges:

  • Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)
  • CAC 40 Index France
  • DAX GER 40 Index
  • Dow Jones
  • Euronext
  • FTSE UK Index
  • IBEX 35
  • Japan Exchange Group
  • Nasdaq
  • New York Stock Exchange
  • S&P 500

Pros

  • The web platform shines for its straightforward design and usability that will appeal to beginners looking to speculate on popular financial markets in a few clicks
  • Well-funded traders who deposit $1000+ can qualify for a 2%+ payout boost, more tradable assets and exclusive perks
  • The MetaTrader platforms offer integrated analysis with helpful technical summaries for short-term traders

Cons

  • You need to deposit $1000 to access the extended list of 250+ assets, otherwise just 130+ assets are available
  • Despite offering competitive payouts up to 92%, binary brokers like IQCent offer higher returns up to 98% based on tests
  • The maximum binary contract length of 4 hours is restrictive for longer-term trading strategies. Alternatives like Videforex offer binaries up to 1 month

RedMars

"RedMars is the best fit for experienced day traders familiar with the MetaTrader 5 platform and based in the EU, where the broker is authorized by the CySEC. However, the threadbare education and research tools make it unsuitable for beginners."

Christian Harris, Reviewer

RedMars Quick Facts

Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsCFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Cryptos
RegulatorCySEC
PlatformsMT5
Minimum Deposit€250
Minimum Trade0.01 Lots
Leverage1:30 (Retail), 1:500 (Pro)
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR

Stock Exchanges

RedMars offers trading on 15 stock exchanges:

  • Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)
  • CAC 40 Index France
  • DAX GER 40 Index
  • Dow Jones
  • Euronext
  • Hong Kong Stock Exchange
  • IBEX 35
  • Japan Exchange Group
  • London Stock Exchange
  • Nasdaq
  • National Stock Exchange Of India
  • New York Stock Exchange
  • S&P 500
  • Shanghai Stock Exchange
  • Shenzhen Stock Exchange

Pros

  • The broker is one of a limited number of firms to offer an account specially designed for VIPs with premium support and invites to exclusive events
  • RedMars offers one of the best platforms for day trading, MT5, hosting 21 timeframes, dozens of analytical tools, flexible templates and algo trading
  • The broker supports a range of flexible payment methods, including wire transfers, credit cards, e-wallets, and notably cryptocurrencies

Cons

  • While RedMars' spreads are within industry averages, they don't offer a significant edge over the cheapest day trading brokers we've personally used, notably IC Markets
  • The no-frills trading environment offers little beyond the basics, with no Islamic account, PAMM account or copy trading.
  • RedMars falls short for newer traders, with little in the way of education, no beginner-friendly platform, a steep minimum deposit, and inadequate support during testing

Interactive Brokers

"Interactive Brokers is one of the best brokers for advanced day traders, providing powerful charting platforms, real-time data, and customizable layouts, notably through the new IBKR Desktop application. Its superb pricing and advanced order options also make it highly attractive for day traders, while its diverse range of equities is still among the best in the industry."

Christian Harris, Reviewer

Interactive Brokers Quick Facts

Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsStocks, Options, Futures, Forex, Funds, Bonds, ETFs, Mutual Funds, CFDs, Cryptocurrencies
RegulatorFCA, SEC, FINRA, CFTC, CBI, CIRO, SFC, MAS, MNB, FINMA
PlatformsTrader Workstation (TWS), IBKR Desktop, GlobalTrader, Mobile, Client Portal, AlgoTrader, OmniTrader, eSignal, TradingCentral
Minimum Deposit$0
Minimum Trade$100
Leverage1:50
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, INR, JPY, SEK, NOK, DKK, CHF, AED, HUF

Stock Exchanges

Interactive Brokers offers trading on 15 stock exchanges:

  • Borsa Italiana
  • CAC 40 Index France
  • Chicago Mercantile Exchange
  • Euronext
  • IBEX 35
  • Japan Exchange Group
  • Korean Stock Exchange
  • London Metal Exchange
  • London Stock Exchange
  • Nasdaq
  • Nasdaq Nordic & Baltics
  • New York Stock Exchange
  • Russell 2000
  • Shenzhen Stock Exchange
  • Toronto Stock Exchange

Pros

  • IBKR is one of the most respected and trusted brokerages and is regulated by top-tier authorities, so you can have confidence in the integrity and security of your trading account.
  • The TWS platform has clearly been built for intermediate and advanced traders and comes with over 100 order types and a reliable real-time market data feed that rarely goes offline.
  • There's a vast library of free or paid third-party research subscriptions catering to all types of traders, plus you can enjoy commission reimbursements from IBKR if you subscribe to Toggle AI.

Cons

  • IBKR provides a wide range of research tools, but their distribution across trading platforms and the web-based 'Account Management' page lacks consistency, leading to a confusing user experience.
  • You can only have one active session per account, so you can’t have your desktop program and mobile app running simultaneously, making for a sometimes frustrating trading experience.
  • Support can be slow and frustrating based on tests, so you might find it challenging to reach customer service representatives promptly or encounter delays in resolving issues.

ForexChief

"xChief continues to prove popular with investors looking to trade highly leveraged CFDs on the popular MetaTrader platforms. The broker's rebate scheme and investment accounts will particularly appeal to seasoned traders. However, the lack of top-tier regulatory oversight is a major drawback."

William Berg, Reviewer

ForexChief Quick Facts

Bonus Offer$100 No Deposit Bonus
Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsCFDs, Forex, Metals, Commodities, Stocks, Indices
RegulatorVFSC
PlatformsMT4, MT5
Minimum Deposit$10
Minimum Trade0.01 Lots
Leverage1:1000
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CHF

Stock Exchanges

ForexChief offers trading on 14 stock exchanges:

  • Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)
  • CAC 40 Index France
  • DAX GER 40 Index
  • Deutsche Boerse
  • Dow Jones
  • Euronext
  • FTSE UK Index
  • Hang Seng
  • Hong Kong Stock Exchange
  • IBEX 35
  • Japan Exchange Group
  • Nasdaq
  • New York Stock Exchange
  • S&P 500

Pros

  • xChief offers STP/ECN execution with low spreads from 0.0 pips and low commission rates starting from $2.50 per side
  • The low minimum deposit of $10 will appeal to beginners, as well as the beginners’ guides in the Library
  • The broker offers several account types to suit different traders, including a Cent account for beginners and pro-level hedging/netting accounts

Cons

  • The Classic+ and Cent accounts provide access to fewer instruments than the other account types, at 50+ and 35+, respectively
  • The total range of 150+ assets is much lower than most competitors who typically offer hundreds
  • Fees and minimums are imposed on most withdrawal methods, including a €60 minimum for SWIFT bank transfers

Plexytrade

"Plexytrade is a newcomer in the brokerage scene with attention-grabbing features like 1:2000 leverage, zero spreads on select instruments and fast execution speeds of less than 46 milliseconds. However, the absence of regulation is a significant concern, while the non-existent research and educational tools place it far behind industry frontrunners."

Christian Harris, Reviewer

Plexytrade Quick Facts

Bonus Offer120% Cash Welcome Bonus
Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsCFDs, Forex, Indices, Stocks, Commodities, Crypto
RegulatorUnregulated
PlatformsMT4, MT5
Minimum Deposit$50
Minimum Trade0.01
Leverage1:2000
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR

Stock Exchanges

Plexytrade offers trading on 15 stock exchanges:

  • Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)
  • CAC 40 Index France
  • DAX GER 40 Index
  • Dow Jones
  • Euronext
  • FTSE UK Index
  • Hang Seng
  • Hong Kong Stock Exchange
  • IBEX 35
  • Japan Exchange Group
  • Nasdaq
  • New York Stock Exchange
  • Russell 2000
  • S&P 500
  • SIX Swiss Exchange

Pros

  • Plexytrade offers among the highest leverage we’ve seen, up to 1:2000, catering to advanced traders willing to forego regulatory protections.
  • There are various VPS packages starting from $50 per month, but they become complimentary once specific deposit thresholds are reached.
  • Plexytrade accommodates a range of trading methods and short-term strategies, including scalping, hedging, and automated trading.

Cons

  • With around 100 instruments, Plexytrade restricts the flexibility of investors who prefer to trade across various assets, especially compared to Blackbull with its 26,000 securities.
  • Deposits and withdrawals are exclusively facilitated through cryptocurrencies, as Plexytrade does not support bank cards, bank wire transfers, or e-wallets.
  • There are no social or copy trading features for inexperienced traders to replicate the trades of more experienced investors, trailing category leaders like eToro.

Comparing CAC-40 Brokers

Instruments

As well as trading on the CAC-40, investors can also trade with the CAC-40. Many CAC-40 brokers offer products which use the total value of the index as an underlying. One example of this is an Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF).

Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs)

An ETF is a basket of securities that tracks an index – in this case, the CAC-40. ETFs can consist of all kinds of different securities but, for simplicity’s sake, we’ll imagine that we’ve bought an ETF that contains shares in every constituent Ibovespa stock. The value of our ETF will go up or down in relation to the value of the underlying index over the day’s trading. Admiral Markets, for example, provides day traders access to a variety of exchange-traded funds. This includes the CAC 40 Dividend Index, the CAC 40 Volatility Index, the CAC 40 Governance Index and the CAC 40 Short GR Index.

One major advantage of ETFs is that they generally tend to be low-commission purchases and are cheaper than buying all the constituent stocks yourself. A worry about them is that the demand for them artificially inflates the value of indices, causing price bubbles to form and burst.

Platforms

The best CAC-40 brokers will provide a choice of platform that day traders can use to invest their funds. This may include award-winning platforms such as MetaTrader 5 or TradingView, or bespoke software developed by the broker. Access to historical price data, technical analysis tools and interactive graphs and charts will rank highly. You will want to visually interpret price fluctuations throughout the day across different time frames,  as well as trade directly from charts.

For beginners or those using a new terminal, look out for demo accounts. Real-time market conditions and unlimited virtual funds provide an ideal practise scenario.

Education

Access to educational resources and learning materials can help rank some CAC-40 brokers higher vs competitors. Regardless of your previous investing experience, there is always more to learn. A wealth of online articles, blog forums, video content and keyword glossaries are valuable, particularly those integrated within CAC 40 brokers’ client dashboards. This means you can save time when looking for supporting information, rather than having to scan the internet and flick between tabs.

Interactive Brokers, for example, hosts a full training academy for day traders with a catalog of resources suitable for beginner, intermediate and advanced investors. Learn more about the French economy, major shifts in qualifying companies and the impact of the Eurozone on the exchange.

Deposits & Withdrawals

CAC-40 brokers that work seamlessly with local deposit and withdrawal solutions may rank highly in your comparison. If you are a French citizen, CAC-40 brokers that offer Cartes Bancaires (CB) credit/debit cards and wire transfers may be the most appealing so you can fund an account and begin investing right away.

A low minimum deposit requirement should also be a key point to look out for, particularly if you are just starting out. You can start trading the CAC 40 with FBS with an initial deposit of just €10 or equivalent currency.

Remember, currency conversion fees may apply if you are depositing in a currency outside of the accepted account denominations. Bear this in mind when comparing CAC-40 brokers and before opening a live account.

What Is The CAC-40?

The CAC-40, which stands for Cotation Assistée en Continu (Continually Assisted Quotation), was first formed in 1987 and runs from the Paris Bourse in the Palais Brogniart.

Since 2000 it has been operated by Euronext; a huge stock exchange operator also responsible for the benchmark indices of Amsterdam, Brussels, Dublin and Lisbon. It operates from 09:00 to 17:35 on trading days, with values calculated every 15 seconds.

The CAC-40 represents the 40 largest French, or qualifying, companies according to free float adjusted market capitalization (more on this later) and its make-up is reviewed quarterly.

The top CAC-40 brokers offer access to individual stocks and shares, alongside products that track the overall index.

The CAC Family Of Indices

The CAC-40 is the head of a larger family of French market indices. Below it is the CAC Next 20, which represents the next 20 largest French companies by market cap.

The CAC Large 60 combines both of these, whilst the CAC Mid 60 lists the next 60 biggest companies that don’t qualify for the Large 60. Both the Large and Mid 60 indices are then combined to make the SBF-120.

Any French companies in the index universe that don’t qualify for these are included in the CAC Small. The CAC Mid 60 and Small indices are joined together in the CAC Mid & Small. Finally, the CAC All-Tradable draws all of the above together into one index.

CAC-40 Variations

There are some variations available at CAC-40 brokers that are calculated in different ways and for different purposes. These include:

CAC-40 EW

The CAC-40 EW is an equally weighted version of the CAC-40, introduced in 2009. The component companies are the same as the parent index, but they are all afforded a weight of approximately 2.6%.

CAC-40 EXT

The CAC-40 EXT is calculated on the basis of future contracts traded on the Euronext Exchange.

Note, not all CAC-40 brokers will offer access to each of these indices.

What Is The CAC-40 Used For?

You can see from the amount of CAC indices that when we’re looking at CAC-40 brokers, we’re looking at the premier league of French stocks. In fact, the CAC-40 accounts for over 80% of the total market cap value of the CAC All-Tradable. It is, therefore, a good gauge of how the whole French economy is performing.

When you consider that France accounts for one-fifth of the total European economy, that its operator Euronext is the largest stock exchange in Europe and that French companies account for nearly two-thirds of the Euronext 100; then its significance as a barometer for the wider European economy’s health also becomes clear. This makes it an exciting index to trade via registered CAC-40 brokers.

How The Index Works

The constitution of the CAC-40 is based on several factors. The most important of these are:

Let’s look at each of these in turn:

Qualifying

Although it’s the benchmark French index, a company doesn’t necessarily have to be French to be included on the index and available at CAC-40 brokers. The rules state that to be eligible for selection a company must trade in Euros and have Euronext Paris as its reference market – although it can still be featured if it has a different reference market but fulfils other criteria, such as significant trading presence in France. This is why there are currently two multinationals in the CAC-40 which list Euronext Amsterdam as their reference market.

Free Float Adjusted Market Capitalization

Since 2003, companies eligible for the CAC-40 have been selected according to their free float adjusted market capitalization. At its most basic, this means the market value of all of a company’s outstanding shares. These are all the shares issued by a company, including those owned by company insiders, CEOs or directors, or subsidiary holding companies.

To work out a company’s market capitalization, the following formula is used:

Company’s share price x number of outstanding shares

The free float factor then redefines the outstanding shares by subtracting any restricted or closely-held shares; therefore, only taking into account shares that are theoretically tradable on the market (any shares not quoted in Euros are also excluded).

This changes the equation to the following:

Company’s share price x (number of outstanding shares – closely-held/restricted shares)

Weighting

Another feature of the CAC-40 is that it is a weighted index, which is capped at 15%. This means that each of the 40 companies accounts for a percentage of the index, but cannot account for more than 15% of the total.

The theory behind such a cap is that it stops the performance of one company having too great a bearing on the CAC-40’s performance.

A company’s CAC-40 weighting is calculated by dividing its free float market capitalization by the total market capitalization of the whole index. At present, the largest company on the CAC-40 has a weighting of just over 10%. The best CAC-40 brokers will also provide this information within their product specification webpage.

Free Float Adjusted Annual Velocity

Component companies of the CAC-40 must have an annual velocity of at least 20%. In basic terms, this means that a company must be trading a certain number of its outstanding shares at a certain rate. In this case, the velocity is found by dividing the number of shares sold by the number of free float adjusted outstanding shares listed.

This is calculated daily and added up over the course of a year to find the annual velocity.

Changes

The make-up of the top 40 list is reviewed quarterly on the third Friday of every March, June, September and December.

Reviews are conducted by the Conseil Scientifique, an independent supervisory body which monitors the index, and Euronext’s Index Team. September also counts as the annual review, when the number of shares included in the index and the free float factor are updated.

Changes to the make-up can be made at these reviews. Using the criteria described above, the Conseil Scientifique and Index Team look at the performance of the component companies, with the latter making recommendations to the former about any changes that should be made.

Buffer Zones

There is an element of fluidity to the composition of the CAC-40 in that it employs a buffer zone. In reality, only 35 companies are guaranteed components. The companies ranked 36th to 45th form a ‘buffer zone’, which allows for companies to move in and out of the top list depending on their performance. Companies that are already constituents are given priority over those ranked outside the top 40.

Trading

As well as tracking the performance of stocks, the CAC-40 itself also acts as an underlying for structured products, futures, options, funds and exchange traded funds (ETFs). And the top CAC-40 brokers will offer opportunities in a range of instruments.

Key information that day traders should be aware of:

Performance Points

The performance of any stock market depends on many factors, and the CAC-40 is no exception. As we’ve seen, the CAC is a benchmark not just for the French economy but also an indicator of the wider European economy. Among the factors that can affect the overall performance of an index are a nation’s GDP, employment and unemployment figures, political events such as general elections, interest rates etc.

Such an example occurred in 2017 when the index hit a nine-year high in response to the news that the pro-European Emmanuel Macron was likely to become French president, as opposed to a more radical Eurosceptic candidate.

Importantly, the best CAC-40 brokers provide integrated economic calendars to help traders stay abreast of relevant events.

Brexit Exposure

With Paris just over 200 miles away from London, the CAC-40 has not been immune to the upheaval caused by the on-going Brexit saga. That said, despite a large drop immediately after the vote in June 2016, and more recent jitters, the CAC-40 has generally tended towards a bullish, or upward, trend.

Overall, the French markets seems to be keeping in line with other major indices by shrugging off any uncertainty both in the UK and the rest of the Eurozone. One reason for this current buoyancy is the strength of the Chinese economy.

Biggest Companies

There are different ways to look at who the biggest players in the CAC-40 are. If we go by the market weight of a sole company then Total, one of the world’s largest oil companies, is by far the biggest player, holding a market weight of 10.48% (by contrast, the next largest companies hold a weight of 7.62%).

Of the 18 sectors currently represented in the entire index, the two largest are Personal & Household Goods and Industrial Goods & Services, with sector weights of just under 14% each. The largest companies in these sectors include household names such as Airbus and L’Oreal as well as LVMH; a conglomerate formed by the merger of aspirational brands Louis Vuitton, Moet & Chandon and Hennessy.

Although Total are, by far, the largest company listed – they account for the whole of the Oil & Gas, the CAC 40’s third largest sector – the rest of the top ten companies, including the three mentioned above, Sanofi, Air Liquide, BNP Paribas, Danone, AXA and Vinci account for well over half of the total weighting, and, therefore, a sizeable portion of the whole French index universe.

How To Start Trading On The CAC-40

There are plenty of options for you to begin trading on the CAC-40, but there are also things to consider first. Any stock market is a complex, high-risk investment situation. If you’re not familiar with issues such as French domestic politics or business news, then it would be advisable to consider whether this is the stock market for you. If you’re willing to take an active interest in areas such as those discussed above in Performance Points, then the next step is to compare CAC-40 brokers using the guide above to find the one that suits your investment goals.

Choosing The Right Stock

Volume

Volume is the best indicator when deciding the right stock to open a position on, or the right time to close an existing position. Volume is the amount of shares that have been traded. Each transaction is only counted once (so if A sells 10 shares to B, the volume is 10, not 20 because A sold to B and B bought from A). Price movements based on higher volumes are more robust than those on low volumes.

Top-rated CAC-40 brokers offer a range of volume indicators within their trading platforms and terminals.

Volatility & Beta

Volatility is an important measure of how stable a stock’s price is. One way of measuring comparative volatility is beta. The Beta formula compares the volatility of the index, to that of a given stock.

Read more about these values on our guide to trading strategies. And again, the best CAC-40 brokers will offer indicators and tools to help measure volatility.

CAC-40 Live Price Chart

Final Word On CAC-40 Brokers

Use our comparison guide to choose between the top CAC-40 brokers. We have ranked the best brokers that offer trading on the CAC-40 in 2024. And as an index that reflects not just the French economy, but a sizeable percentage of the Eurozone economy, the CAC-40 has plenty of potential for investment. The strategies outlined above can all be used to your advantage when trading on or with the index. Of course, as with any investment, you should ensure that you have a firm grasp of both trading and the domestic situation in France before putting your money down.