Investment Market Update

JULY 2023

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



Rand strengthened against the dollar

21 March

The only day in 2023 without loadshedding

5.4% YoY

SA inflation rate declined more than expected (again)



The generally upbeat global environment had a strong positive influence on South African asset classes with the rand continuing to strengthen, local bond yields falling and equities rallying over the month.

South African equities had a strong month with the Financials index driving returns, despite the stronger rand hampering the resources sector. Local bonds performed well, as SA inflation came in below expectations and the SARB maintained the repo rate. Loadshedding returned to stage 6 in July, the number of gigawatts shed so far this year is 50% higher than the entirety of 2022. 

This month we saw the strongest daily inflow into the local bond market on record and foreigners turned to net buyers. According to the Reserve Bank this is a rise from a record low of 25.12% at the end of May 2023 to 26.11% at the of July. While this might not sound significant, it reflects net foreign capital inflows of more than $1.5 billion in just two months. The strengthening currency negatively impacted global asset class returns with global bonds the worst affected.




July saw further falls in global inflation and generally positive economic data, leading to positive market sentiment and strong returns overall, particularly in riskier asset classes.

US equities reported negative results in rand terms, on the back of a weaker dollar. However, global markets performed well as more good news about inflation and the prospects of a soft landing in the US was received. The US consumer price index rose at its slowest rate in over two years, which saw the rand recover, dipping below R17.3 to the dollar in July. Subsequently, developed market bonds had a poor month as risk-on sentiment increased.

Commodities also picked up as the oil price rallied, and certain agricultural commodities rose because of Russia’s cancellation of the Black Sea grain export deal. The fall in developed market inflation and relatively resilient GDP data raised hopes for a soft landing and provided an underpin to a month of good returns across asset classes and regions.





  • The JSE All Share Index had a strong month (up 4.0%).
  • Resources (up 3.2%) and Industrials (up 2.6%) lagged the broader index slightly, while Financials (up 7.8%) pushed further into the green.
  • Small-caps (up 1.4%) gained slightly, as Mid-caps (up 5.8%) and Large-caps (up 4.2%) jumped higher.
  • The S&P SA REIT sector (up 5.0%) and the SA Listed Property sector (up 2.3%) continued to advance month-on-month.
  • SA Nominal Bonds (up 2.3%) had another strong performance this month, while Inflation Linked Bonds (up 1.3%) added modest growth.
  • Developed Market Equities underperformed their Emerging Market peers in US Dollar terms, with the MSCI World Index up 3.4% and the MSCI Emerging Market Index up 6.3%.
  • The Rand appreciated against the major currencies; relative to the US Dollar (Rand appreciated 6.2%), the Euro (Rand appreciated 5.1%) and the Pound Sterling (Rand appreciated 5.0%).
  • The commodities sector had a stellar month, with Platinum (up 5.0%) and Gold (up 2.6%) posted positive returns, while  Brent Crude (up 14.2%) rocketed higher on the back of supply concerns.