As the year draws to a close unfortunately it won’t be remembered as a good one for investors.
Perhaps some glimmer of hope has emerged from last week end’s G20 meeting in Buenos Aires at which the presidents of the US and China called a halt, albeit a temporary one, to their tit for tat tariff war.
The so-called trade war between the US and China has been a major contributory factor in market negativity across the globe. Although good news on the US economic front has been a feature this year, the advent of rising interest rates has somewhat dampened market sentiment.
Brexit has been a major issue for the UK and Europe but as the G20 meeting highlighted in their discussions on broader global issues, Brexit seems more like a local regional problem by comparison.
So far this year our JSE All Share has dropped by 14.2%. The worst performing local index has been that of listed property which is negative 30.4% for the year. Whilst bonds have been positive by 5%, the Rand, despite a recent rally, has depreciated against the USD by some 11% for the year. Local interest rates have been flat and end the year as they begun it. The price of oil has dropped by 12% and this together with an improving Rand in the short term (up 10% over the last three months) has led to a welcome drop in the petrol price just in time for the holiday season.
Given this rather negative picture, 2018 has been a very difficult year for investors. We can only hope for at least a calmer environment as the new year unfolds.
- 5 Dec, 2018