The JSE is on track for its worst year since 2008 and is trading at its lowest levels since June 2017 as a “risk-off” global environment weighs on emerging market assets. The FTSE/JSE all share index (Alsi) is down 8.56% in the year to date to 54,409.47, its worst performance over the same period since the global financial crisis in 2008, when the Alsi shed 20.5% in the year to October 5. September was the worst month for the all share since June 2013, with the index shedding 5.05% in the month. This is despite a weaker rand, which tends to support so–called rand hedge stocks — companies that earn a significant portion of revenue outside SA.  The weaker performance is linked to risk-off sentiment emanating from the US, where the US Federal Reserve is set to increase interest rates further, with US Treasury yields rising sharply to seven-year highs last week.

This is all occurring against the backdrop of increased trade tension between the US and China. Local political developm...

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