What's the Europe 350?

The Standard & Poor's Europe 350 is one of the leading indexes measuring the performance of companies across the Continent. It consists of the major corporations in 17 markets, including the 12 nations of the euro zone, plus Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and Britain. The companies in the index together make up some 70% of the market capitalization in the region. According to Christopher O'Brien, director of market development for Standard & Poor's (Europe), the index was founded in 1998 in response to "the amazing growth in European equity investment in the 1990s."

The Europe 350 is now widely used as a benchmark for Western European stock performance. The index is also linked to exchange-traded funds in both Europe and the U.S. that boast assets of $1 billion. Standard & Poor's, like BusinessWeek, is a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

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