Picture: REUTERS/ALY SONG
Picture: REUTERS/ALY SONG

Foreign investors have ditched a net R9.2bn worth of local shares over the past week, in the clearest indication that the so-called Ramaphosa rally may have run its course.

Nonresidents have been aggressive net buyers of local shares since December, giving the new ANC leadership under Cyril Ramaphosa the benefit of the doubt regarding turning around the struggling the economy.

The buying frenzy boosted a number of the stocks that depend mainly on the local economy to record levels, in the process lifting the value of the rand.

But momentum has gradually tapered off, suggesting that good news had been built into the share prices of the companies, which are now expected to deliver to justify the market ratings.

Still, relatively attractive bond rates persuaded foreigners to buy local bonds to the tune of R4.2bn over the past week.

Interest rates in developed markets remain low by historical standards, a scenario that bodes well for local bonds.

US Federal Reserve is widely expected to raise rates by 25 basis points when its federal open market committee ends its two-day policy meeting on Wednesday.

But markets will be more interested in how the world’s most influential central bank intends to approach its policy in the coming months.