EB Market Update – August 2017

Global: An uneasy North Korean stand-off

In spite of the ravages of Hurricane Harvey and deteriorating US/North Korea relations, US equity markets continued to trade higher, boosted by positive economic data which included an upward revision of Q2 GDP from 2.6% to 3.0%.

The Dow Jones returned 0.26% and surpassed the 22,000 points level for the first time. The S&P 500 returned a paltry 0.05% while the tech heavy NASDAQ delivered 1.27%.

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Domestic: Come December

The market breathed a sigh of relief when Moody’s rating agency elected not to release their scheduled ratings review on the basis that nothing material had changed in the general economic outlook to warrant one. The failed no confidence vote against President Zuma resulted in considerable Rand volatility.

Somewhat surprisingly the market appeared to take some cheer on the passing of these two events and the JSE/ALSI returned a pleasing 2.65% in total return terms and exceeded the 56,000 points level to reach an all-time high. In total return terms the Top40 index returned 2.57%. Foreigners remained net sellers of SA equity to the tune of R65.2 million.

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