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African stocks experience worst start to the year

Feb 01 2016 19:31
Kudzie Sharara

Harare - Stock market investors across the African continent experienced one of the worst starts to a year after most stocks recorded heavy losses in January.

At the close of trading on Friday, most stock markets were in the negative as investors reacted to collapsing oil prices, the Fed’s direction with its monetary policy as well as China’s economic slowdown.  

Nigeria's All Share Index was one of the top fallers after it lost 16.5% at the close of trading in January. Nigeria's economy is one of the most affected by the falling oil prices.

The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange was also on the downside down 10.27% to 103.05 points as the country's economy remains fragile. The country which relies on exporting commodities has found no joy as prices continue to weaken.

Profitability in Zimbabwe's mining industry declined across most minerals in 2015 as most mining houses reported losses. Only 30% of the sector players made profits in 2015 with the rest (70%) making losses.

The Nairobi Stock Exchange in Kenya was down 5.24% while Zambia's Lusaka Stock Exchange dropped 3.15%.

South Africa's JSE was down approximately 3.05% in the month.

The losses were however not confined to African markets as the bloodbath was well pronounced across the globe.

Most stock markets had a volatile start to the year with the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index losing 6.2% for the month.

The Dow lost 5.5%, the S&P 500 fell 5.1% and the Nasdaq dropped 7.9%.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index finished January down 2.5%, its biggest monthly fall since September.

zimbabwe  |  equities  |  african economy
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