2018: The Year That Was

2018: The Year That Was

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