South African stocks are ending their best year since 2009, although the gains have little to do with local factors.
The FTSE / JSE Africa All Share index slipped 0.1% in the last session of 2021 on Friday, reducing its annual lead to 24%. The benchmark index closed at historic highs on Wednesday and Thursday.
As the South African economy has been battered by Covid-19, its stock market success reflects optimism about a global rebound from the pandemic and increased demand for raw materials. Major contributors to the gains were mining giants Anglo American Plc and BHP Group Plc, along with Sasol Ltd., whose fortunes are tied to oil prices, which have also risen the most since 2009.
Richemont was the biggest engine on the South African tonnage this year in terms of index points. The luxury retailer’s Johannesburg shares climbed a record 84%, with the sector supported by resilient sales in the event of a pandemic and a bullish outlook for 2022.
Record-breaking South Africa stocks set to post more gains in 2022
The dominance of listed stocks in Europe like Richemont, BHP and Anglo American means that the Johannesburg benchmark’s performance this year is more like that of its emerging market peers, with the MSCI EM index down 4 , 5%.
ArcelorMittal South Africa was the biggest local winner, multiplying nearly nine times in 2021. Ingot producer DRDGold Ltd.
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