Major world indices pretty much do the same thing, they help investors analyze and describe the market to help them compare their investments. Several stock market indices, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and mutual funds try to track these indices on a global, regional, and national scale to offer investors information regarding exposure to any given market.
Major world indices also include global stock market indices like the MSCI World Index that tracks large and mid-cap equities covering 85% of the free float-adjusted market capitalization (in each country) across 23 developed nations.
Before we get into the most popular global market indices, it’s important to note at this juncture that they don’t offer exposure to frontier markets or emerging markets as they are still too small to include in this particular list.
The most popular indices around the globe include the following:
Major world indices also may cover Asian, European, and Latin American equities to help investors analyze and compare the performance of specific countries to the general area and ascertain what assets are underperforming or overperforming.
The funds that are tied to these indices can also help build exposure to specific geographical locations around the planet.
There are more major world indices that cover regions or continents such as Asia and Latin America. Of these, the most popular ones include the following:
If you look at it on a national scale, you will be able to provide exposure to individual countries. More often than not, these indices will consist of mostly large-cap stocks that are quite similar to the Dow Jones Industrial Average in the U.S.
There are also other major world indices that are highly specialized for certain types of demographics. The best example of these are the Shariah Index and the S&P Islamic Index that is focused on adhering to Islamic laws