Currency fluctuations temper gains

Of the 11 main Africa indices, ex South Africa, there were eight gainers and three decliners in May 2014.

Nigeria’s All Share Index shrugged off its four-month losing streak with a 7.77% gain for the month, putting it into positive territory for the first time this year, up 0.35%.

Ghana’s GSE Composite Index also made up lost ground, rising 2.83% in May, having shed 5.53% the month before. By month’s end, the index was 8.11% up YTD. However, since the start of the year the Ghanaian cedi has lost ground against the US dollar, slipping from 2.3 in early January to just over three cedi to the dollar by the end of May. Accordingly, dollar returns on the index have declined by more than 15% since the start of 2014.

Botswana’s Gaborone Index edged 0.09% into profit for the year with a 2.03% gain in May, following a three-month losing cycle.

Tunisia’s TUNINDEX gained 1.11% in May following accumulated losses of around 5% in the previous two months. The index was 3.57% in profit YTD.

Morocco’s CFG 25 inched up 0.25% in May putting it 4.76% in the black YTD.

The SEMDEX in Mauritius was 0.2% up by month’s end but is still 0.85% in the red for the year.

Zambia’s Lusaka All Share added 0.32% in May and was up 13.29% YTD but is 8.83% lower in USD-adjusted terms. Partly driven by lower copper prices, the kwacha dropped to a record low against the US dollar during the month, depreciating 7.79%, more than any other world currency.

Zimbabwe’s Industrials Index added 0.67% by month’s end, according to figures released by The Africa Weekly, but the index was still significantly in the red for the year at 13.88% lower.

In a month where Egypt held another presidential race, won by Abdel Fattah el-Sisi with more than 93% of the popular vote, the EGX 30 slipped 0.16% but was still 21.53% in profit YTD (18.05% in USD). Despite what some commentators see as gathering storm clouds over the Egyptian economy, the EGX 30 is by far the year’s best performer of the main Africa bourses.

Namibia’s Overall Index gave up 2.17% for the month leaving it 9.78% in positive territory for the year so far.

Kenya’s NSE 20 slipped 1.36% in May pushing it 0.92% into the red for the year. Copyright. HedgeNews Africa – June 2014.

Figures: Bloomberg, The Africa Weekly