DAX

Germany’s blue-chip index is the most cyclical of the major western indices, with almost 80% of it comprised of economically sensitive industries, so it tends to post the biggest swings. As many of the 30 firms in the index are major multinationals, the DAX is also considered a geared play on global growth.

The basic materials sector, which is made up largely of chemicals groups, is the main heavyweight, accounting for just over a fifth of the index. Three-quarters of the stocks in the consumer goods sector are in the cyclical car and car parts industries.

Financials, industrials and technology are further significant cyclical sectors.

• See Tim Bennett’s video tutorial: What is an index?