voestalpine AG vs. the ATX and international indices
Changes compared to March 31, 2017, in %
Development of the voestalpine share
There are two aspects to the development of the voestalpine share in the business year 2017/18: Continuous share price increases in the first three quarters were followed by a dramatic share price decline in the year’s final quarter.
While debt remained a problem in search of a solution in a number of European countries in 2017 too, the subsequent growth caused the issue to become less significant in the capital market players’ perception; even the geopolitical hot spots dampened the positive mood but temporarily. For example, the tensions between the United States and North Korea in September 2017 led to relatively minor price corrections on the stock markets. While in the US, the tax reform in particular had a positive effect on the development of the stock markets, in Europe the European Central Bank’s easy-money policies continued to be the primary source of support for the capital markets. The Vienna Stock Exchange also benefited from the strong growth rates in neighboring Eastern European countries. As far as voestalpine is concerned, the continuous gains of the Company’s share in the first nine months of the business year were driven not just by the continued positive economic outlook but also by the very good performance of the voestalpine Group. However, the fact that the global stock markets are not immune to negative trends in economic policies—even in the current low-interest environment—became very clear when the United States announced that it would impose worldwide import tariffs on steel and aluminum products. The concerns about incrementally increasing restrictions on world trade triggered a trend reversal in the financial markets, putting massive pressure on the voestalpine share as a result. Consequently, a large portion of the gains in the first three quarters of the business year 2017/18 were eliminated in the fourth quarter. On the whole, however, the voestalpine share ended the business year 2017/18 on a plus of 13.9% (increase from EUR 37.36 as of April 1, 2017, to EUR 42.57 as of March 31, 2018), falling slightly short of the Austrian benchmark index (ATX) but more or less on par with the Dow Jones Industrial and even substantially higher than the STOXX Index Europe.