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June tough on African stocks amid escalating trade war

Jul 03 2018 22:21
Crecey Kuyedzwa

June was a tough month on African bourses, with most of the equities markets under coverage closing on negative territories.

The weakness in most markets across the continent come in the wake of escalating trade-war concern, and weakness in China and the US Federal Reserve’s aggressive move on interest rates.

The Ghana Stock Exchange, which had been a lead performer earlier in the year, was the biggest loser in the month of June. It dropped 12.56% to 2 880.63, although it still has a year-to-date gain of 11.66%.

This comes as Vodafone Ghana plans to list on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE), but only after dealing with some debt restructuring issues with the government.

In Nigeria, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NGSE) also saw weak trade, coming off by -1.92% to 38 278.55. 

During the month, the NGSE announced plans to change its market structure to include strategies that might provide potential for cheaper cost of capital to issuers in the market, according to NGSE chief executive officer Oscar Onyema.

READ: Failed bank buyout deal shows perils of investing in Nigeria

The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange was one of the worst performers, dropping 3.47% to close at 340.06 in the month.

This is ahead of the country’s general elections, to be held on 30 July. Stocks fell the most in the last week, following the blast that took place soon after President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s political address at the White City Stadium in Bulawayo.

The ZSE closed the month with a year-to-date gain of just 2.11% down from a year-to-date gain of approximately 16% in mid-June.

The drop in ZSE stocks also come at a time when there is volatility on the country’s currency front, with bank depositors only managing to convert their bank balances into real US dollars at a 60% discount.

The Botswana Stock Exchange was down 1.66%, while the Lusaka Stock Exchange shed 1.89%.

The Nairobi Securities Exchange was, however, one of the few in the positive territory, up a marginal 0.44% to 175.5.

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