Investment Market Update


What has been happening in local & global markets in the month of December


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Dow Jones ends 2023 at an all-time high

12 Countries

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Equal weighted return of the ‘magnificent 7’ for 2023



South African markets enjoyed a strong finish to the year benefitting from the positive investor sentiment globally.

SA markets underperformed their emerging market counterparts in USD terms this year, mainly due to the challenging year experienced by mineral and resource companies, particularly producers of platinum and palladium. 

In December, the stock prices of Naspers and Prosus fell due to the announcement of new regulations in China’s gaming industry. These regulations will limit the amount players can spend on in-game purchases. As a result, the share price of Tencent Holdings, in which both companies have a considerable stake, was also affected.

Local property had a particularly good month falling just short of double digit returns for the month followed closely by global property. Local equity and local bonds both outperformed global equities in rands which was negatively affected by a generally stronger ZAR. The local equity market was driven by financials and smaller cap companies (mid and small caps).




The last month of the year saw a ‘Santa rally’ across markets as investors became increasingly certain of forthcoming interest rate cuts.

Three of the major developed economic areas (UK, US and euro area) all had positive news on this front, either lower than expected inflation numbers, or central banks signaling the end of the rate hiking cycle and the green shoots of monetary policy easing on the horizon. This provided a boost to asset prices across developed and emerging markets with bond yields falling, and thus bond prices rising, in anticipation of lower interest rates. Equities were buoyed by lower expected funding costs and a further uplift in positive sentiment.

Developed market equities outperformed emerging market stocks by 1.0% over the month. Global equity markets were bolstered as the US Fed kept rates unchanged and signalled its intent to start cutting sooner than markets expected. Chinese stocks continued to struggle in with the MSCI China index experiencing a 2.4% fall while the EM ex-China index rose 6.5% in USD terms.



  • The JSE All Share Index continued to add to the previous month’s strong performance (up 2.0%).
  • Financials (up 5.3%) rose sharply while Industrials (up 0.7%) were up slightly and Resources (down 0.0%) were flat.
  • Small-caps (up 6.0%), Mid-caps (up 7.9%) and Large-caps (up 1.4%) all ended the month in positive territory.
  • The S&P SA REIT sector (up 11.5%) and the SA Listed Property sector (up 9.9%) reported strong gains.
  • SA Nominal Bonds (up 1.4%) and Inflation Linked Bonds (up 2.0%) were well in the green as the month ended.
  • Developed Market Equities outperformed their Emerging Market peers in US Dollar terms, with the MSCI World Index up 4.9% and the MSCI Emerging Market Index having gained 3.9%.
  • The Rand too had a strong month, appreciating against the major currencies; relative to the US Dollar (Rand appreciated 3.5%), the Euro (Rand appreciated 2.3%) and the Pound Sterling (Rand appreciated 2.8%).
  • The commodities sector had mixed results in December as Gold (up 1.2%) gained and Platinum (up 6.9%) seemed to recover somewhat from what was a turbulent year, while Brent Crude (down 7.0%) fell sharply for its third consecutive month.