The local bourse closed Tuesday’s trading session at 58 528.4 points, up 3.66 percent on the month. Photo: Nhlanhla Phillips/African News Agency (ANA)
JOHANNESBURG – The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in April continued its bullish run following a record-breaking first quarter performance.

The local bourse closed Tuesday’s trading session at 58 528.4 points, up 3.66 percent on the month.

Izak Odendaal, investment strategist at Old Mutual Multi-Managers, said returns have been good for local investors so far this year.

“This is largely because of strong gains in global equities. With the rand flat against the dollar year-to-date, local investors have enjoyed the full benefit of global returns,” Odendaal said.

"The local equity market has also improved this year and April has been a very good month for the JSE, despite a local economy that continues to be buffeted by bad news and uncertainty ahead of next week’s general elections.”

The JSE all share index gained 7.1 percent in the first three months of 2019, the best performance since the first quarter of 2007.

The JSE last year had the worst year since the financial crisis.

The strong uptick of the performance on the local bourse this year has been largely attributed to a strong showing by resources and industrials stocks.

Mining companies were the biggest winners on the back of record palladium and rhodium prices since late last year. The strong prices helped lift the gloom from platinum producers with Impala Platinum, Lonmin and Anglo American Platinum posting bumper profits. Sibanye-Stillwater, one of the world’s biggest platinum producers, was also helped by the record palladium price.

The JSE’s blue chip top 40 index also welcomed a new member in the form of Multichoice which unbundled from Naspers.

South African markets will be jittery in the lead up to next week's watershed national election which are expected to provide the ruling ANC its sternest test yet since the dawn of democracy.

Anchor Group chief executive Peter Armitage said the company’s base case is for a relatively strong ANC election win in May and a mandate for President Cyril Ramaphosa to continue with his reform and anti-corruption drive.

“This will improve investor confidence and should see strong inflows into the South African equity market. Recent market performance has indicated support for this,” Armitage said.

Merrill Lynch earlier this year said it expected the all share index to hit the 61000 mark this year and earnings per share to grow by 12 percent. A study by Unisa/Momentum released last month found that South African households suffered the biggest financial losses last year, with nearly half-a-trillion rand lost in net worth.

The index showed that the plunge in real wealth, the largest since 2008, was attributable to an increase of R21.2 billion in the real value of their liabilities, mostly from outstanding debt and a R428.6bn decline in the real value of their assets.

According to the index, the main reason behind the decline in retirement funds and other savings and investments was the sharp decline in share prices of JSE-listed and non-listed companies.