A global slump in stocks dragged South Africa’s benchmark equity index lower for a seventh day on Wednesday, the longest losing streak for the market since October 2018.
The FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index fell as much as 3.2%, its sharpest intraday decline in more than eight months.
The South African benchmark index’s slump has wiped about R1 trillion off the value of stocks during its seven-day slide. The gauge has also erased the last remaining gains it had posted for this year.
Renewed concerns over the health of banks prompted selling in the sector in Europe and the US, combined with recession risks and the outlook for hawkish monetary policy to batter sentiment.
Traders have had to digest a steady stream of updates from companies like MTN setting out the blow to their operations and earnings from South Africa’s crippling power crisis.
Global luxury retailer Richemont was the biggest single drag on the South African market Wednesday, dropping 4.1%, while miner Anglo American fell 5.5%.
An index of local banking stocks sank as much as 3.6%, sliding for a fourth day to its lowest level in almost five months.
“The fallout in the US bank sector has led to concerns around potential contagion, and on this basis — as well as due to the economic environment, South African banking shares have been under pressure,” Unum Capital analyst Lester Davids said in emailed comments.
The main South African index was 3.1% lower by 14:51 in Johannesburg.
“We have seen the impact of the persistent load-shedding in South Africa on various economic indicators,” said Abdul Davids, head of research at Camissa Asset Management,
“Also, recent statements by executives of corporates like MTN have quantified the impact of the energy crisis on corporate profits and the realization that the energy woes will persist for some time. All of the above is taking a toll on risk appetite for South African stocks.”