By Steve Goldstein
Austria’s main stock market index is set to be the top performing Western European benchmark of the year.
The Austria ATX /zigman2/quotes/210598008/delayed AT:ATXEUR +0.41% index has gained 38.8% through midday Thursday. Circuit board maker AT&S /zigman2/quotes/204344366/delayed AT:ATS +3.79% has jumped 66%, followed closely by the country’s banks, Erste Group /zigman2/quotes/206853148/delayed AT:EBS -1.93% , BAWAG /zigman2/quotes/208673403/delayed AT:BG +0.44% and Raiffeisen Bank /zigman2/quotes/209055420/delayed AT:RBI -0.67% .
As of Thursday, the French CAC 40 /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 +0.20% was narrowly outperforming the OMX Stockholm 30 /zigman2/quotes/210598184/realtime XX:OMXS30 +0.08% by a 29.3% to 29% margin for second place.
Bringing up the rear is the IBEX 35 /zigman2/quotes/210597995/delayed XX:IBEX +0.93% , with the Spanish index stuck in single digits with a 7.8% rise.
The Stoxx Europe 600 /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP +0.73% more broadly has gained 22.6% and added 0.3% on Thursday.
The best performing stocks in the pan-European index this year have been Swedish laboratory equipment maker AddLife /zigman2/quotes/210091500/delayed SE:ALIF.B -0.76% , up 165%, and Watches of Switzerland Group, /zigman2/quotes/212606835/delayed UK:WOSG -1.74% up 161%. The worst has been Polish online e-commerce platform Allegro.eu /zigman2/quotes/221464247/delayed PL:ALE +3.80% , which has dropped 54%, and French IT services firm Atos /zigman2/quotes/202384354/delayed FR:ATO +5.70% , down 50%.