Juiced-up German stocks are back in bull market territory. Sort of.

Buoyed by fresh hopes of more central bank action, Germany’s Dax index has now risen by 20 per cent since hitting yearly lows in February – the official definition of a bull market.

Up 0.77 per cent at publication time, the Dax now joins the FTSE 100 as one of the best performing European indices and has recovered 15 per cent since the UK’s shock EU referendum vote triggered a broad sell off in shares. The UK’s benchmark index is up 23 per cent from its 2016 lows and is trading at near 14-month highs.

There is a ‘but’, though.

The Dax also includes dividends, unlike most other indices. So it’s not quite a case of comparing apples with apples.

The stripped down Dax Kursindex (see chart) which excludes dividends is up just shy of 18 per cent from its lows, which means it is still outperforming its major European peers.

France’s CAC 40 is up 14 per cent since its February lows, with Italy’s FTSE Mib up just 6.73 per cent and Europe’s wider FTSE Eurofirst 300 up 12.8 per cent – still well below bull market threshold.

Stocks across Europe have been given a fresh boost in recent days by a fresh wave of stimulus from the Bank of England last week. Government bond yields are falling across the board in the hope of still more action to stimulate growth and inflation in the continent.

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