Investment Market Update

APRIL 2024

What developments have unfolded in local and global markets throughout the month of April?



SA Resource Stocks return in April


Days without loadshedding in 2024 


Job cuts announced at Tesla







April was marked by persistent inflation and escalating geopolitical tensions. Inflation in the US, UK, and Euro area proved more stubborn than anticipated. Meanwhile, slightly better-than-expected economic data in major markets led investors to reconsider the timing and pace of expected interest rate cuts, especially by the US Federal Reserve.

Geopolitical tensions in the Middle East added to the uncertainty, causing market volatility and pushing oil prices higher. As a result, bond yields rose, leading to a drop in bond prices. Most equity markets declined as optimism for rate cuts waned. However, UK equities bucked the trend, benefiting from large oil companies and dollar earnings, and Emerging Markets saw gains driven by commodity exporters.

After a five-month rally fueled by AI enthusiasm that began in October 2023, global developed stock markets contracted in April. This downturn was triggered by increasingly hawkish comments from the Federal Reserve, leading the market to believe that only one interest rate cut might occur toward the end of the year.

Additionally, in April, Tesla announced it would lay off 10% of its 140,400 employees, resulting in around 6,000 job losses in Texas and California due to disappointing sales.

The market is currently waiting for the next round of key economic data, which could lead to two possible outcomes. One outcome is that the Federal Reserve confirms market fears by acknowledging a significant revision in their inflation and interest rate outlook, suggesting that interest rates will stay high for longer. This could lead to a further sell-off in risk assets. The other outcome is that the new data indicates a moderation in US inflation, which, combined with easing tensions in the Middle East, could encourage investors to return to risk assets and potentially reverse the recent decline in these assets, including the Rand.




In recent times, South African (SA) equities have significantly outperformed global equities, emerging as the best-performing asset class for SA investors. This success was driven largely by a substantial rebound in the resources sector.

Globally, asset classes faced challenges due to a stronger rand, which found support and appreciated over the month. Local bonds also had a strong month, following the rand’s positive trajectory after a slow start to the year. In contrast, local property saw a slight decline, and global property underperformed all other asset classes.

South African stocks continued their strong performance for two main reasons. Firstly, there was a broad recovery in the resources sector. Secondly, there was a reduction in the election risk premium that had previously been priced into the market. A preliminary poll and report by market research company Ipsos suggested that a coalition government might be a likely outcome after South Africans head to the polls on May 29th. The poll indicated a higher probability of a market-friendly outcome, contributing to the positive performance of South African stocks, which have now enjoyed consecutive months of strong gains.

While the rand is expected to benefit from an improvement in global risk appetite, any pullback is likely to be modest. This is due to ongoing domestic economic challenges and the uncertainty surrounding the upcoming elections at the end of May 2024. The post-election period will significantly impact the rand, depending on the political coalition that emerges. Some potential coalitions, like an ANC/EFF alliance, could negatively affect investor sentiment, whereas an ANC/DA alliance might bolster the rand’s performance.




  • The JSE All Share Index continued higher in April (up 3.0%).
  • Financials (up 2.9%) along with Industrials (up 1.6%) generated some positive returns while Resources (up 6.4%) continued to bounce strongly.
  • Small-caps (up 2.0%), Mid-caps (up 1.5%), and Large-caps (up 3.2%) all ended the month in positive territory.
  • Both the S&P SA REIT sector (up 0.3%) and the SA Listed Property sector (down 0.6%) returns for the month were mixed but mostly remained flat.
  • SA Nominal Bonds (up 1.5%) benefited from some positive sentiment, and Inflation Linked Bonds (up 0.2%) ended slightly higher.
  • Developed Market Equities underperformed their Emerging Market peers in US Dollar terms, with the MSCI World Index down 3.6% and the MSCI Emerging Market Index having gained 0.7%.
  • The Rand strengthened in April yet again, appreciating against the major currencies; relative to the US Dollar (Rand appreciated 0.5%), the Euro (Rand appreciated 1.5%) and the Pound Sterling (Rand appreciated 1.4%).
  • The commodities sector boasted strong performance, as Gold (up 3.3%) and Platinum (up 3.7%) continued to appreciate while Brent Crude (up 0.4%) rose slightly.