Investment Market Update

JANUARY 2023

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

KEY NUMBERS

      7.25%

The repo rate in South Africa, a 25bps increase

      7.25%

Year-on-year US inflation rate slowed for a sixth straight month

      80,791

The JSE All Share reached an all-time high in January

LOCAL MARKET

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In January, SA equities managed to outperform both emerging market and developed market equities for the month in their respective currencies.

The South African Reserve Bank hiked the repo rate by 25bps to 7.25%, signaling a potential slowdown in the rate hiking cycle as the previous hike was 75bps. The market, however, is pricing in one more 25bps hike before potential rate cuts in Q4 2023. The month also saw the return of stage 6 loadshedding, which was one of the reasons the SARB revised its domestic GDP forecasts downward over the next 3 years.

This cloud of loadshedding the rand weakened which benefited offshore asset classes. Local property had a difficult month, falling slightly and was the worst performing asset class.

GLOBAL MARKETS

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2023 started off with the best January for global equity markets in the past 30 years, this was on the back of the news that China eased its zero covid policy and reopened its economy to the world.

Investors believe the US Federal Reserve to now be nearing the end of the current hiking cycle and that inflation is now past its peak. Improving inflation figures were helped by lower energy costs, especially in Europe as demand fell, helped by warmer weather.

During the month, bonds delivered strong returns as future interest rate expectations fell, and equities rallied on the back of improving economic data. Global property was the best performing asset class, up strongly after lagging last year. European growth prospects also look to be stronger than previously estimated.

MOVEMENTS

 

  • The JSE All Share Index ended the month strongly (up 8.9%).
  • Financials (up 7%) and Resources (up 6.3%) had a great month however the biggest winner was Industrials (up 12.8%).
  • Small-caps (up 2.3%) and mid-caps (up 3.8%) had a positive month while the best performer was large-caps (up 9.7%).
  • The S&P SA REIT sector (down 3.3%) and the SA Listed Property sector (down 1.0%) ended the month in negative territory.
  • SA Nominal Bonds (up 3.0%) had a strong start to the year while Inflation Linked Bonds (down 1.1%) ended negative for the month as inflation starts to slow.
  • Emerging Market Equities outperformed their Developed Market peers in US Dollar terms, with the MSCI World Index ended up 7.1% and the MSCI Emerging Market Index ended up 7.9%.
  • The Rand depreciated against the major currencies; relative to the US Dollar (Rand depreciated 2.4%), the Euro (Rand depreciated 1%) and the Pound Sterling (Rand depreciated 4.6%).
  • The commodities sector had a mixed month, with Platinum (down 7%), Gold (up 6.0%) and Brent Crude (down 1.7%).

ASSET CLASS RETURNS (1 MONTH):