• In dollar terms, the JSE has been one of the worst performers in the world this year.
  • One of its major constituents, Sasol, has lost 40% of its value as a US project went horribly wrong.
  • But the mining sector has exploded - with Implats up 181% since the start of the year.
  • For more stories, go to Business Insider SA.


Reflecting a bleeding domestic economy, the JSE has been stuck in first gear so far in 2019, with the market basically flat since January.

On top of that, the rand has weakened by almost 10% since the start of the year, contributing to the local market being one of the worst performers in the world.

In dollar terms, the JSE lost 1.5%  - of the major markets, only South Korea (-4.8%) Malaysia (-5.8%), Chile (-6.5%) and Nigeria (-19%) fared worse, according to data compiled by PSG Wealth portfolio manager Schalk Louw.

Source: Schalk Louw, PSG.
Source: Schalk Louw, PSG.

Sasol, one of the biggest shares on the JSE, has lost almost 40% of its value after major problems with its R200bn Lake Charles chemical project in Louisiana. The project will cost 50% more than planned, is suffering some technical problems and somewhat mysterious warnings about  “possible control weaknesses”. Retailers Mr Price (-34%) and Shoprite (-33%) also lost a chunk of their value as the weak economy hit their profits.

Source: Schalk Louw, PSG.
Source: Schalk Louw, PSG.

But after many tough years, investments in the mining sector have exploded. The platinum price has shot up from around $800 per ounce from the start of the year to above $980 in recent weeks, and gold is at the highest level since 2013 as nervous investors seek a safe haven investment.

Implats (+181%), Sibanye (+130%), Anglo American Platinum (+96%), Anglogold Ashanti (+63%) and Gold Fields (+60%) have seen sharp increases.

Source: Schalk Louw, PSG.
Source: Schalk Louw, PSG.

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