Index performance highlights for March 2014 and summary table below:
The All Share Index gained 1.8% in Rand terms in March bringing the year to date return from domestic equities to of 4.3%.
For the first time in 2014, mid and small cap shares drove the returns gaining 3.9% and 2.8% respectively while large caps were up 1.5%.
It was a flat month for global equities as the MSCI World index gained a mere 0.2% in March in US$. Year to date the US$ return from global equities is 1.4%.
There was a noticeable shift in risk taking as the MSCI Emerging Markets Index gained 3.1% in US$. However the impact of January’s sell off in emerging market equities is still evident as the year to date number remains negative -0.4% in US$.
The ALBI gained 1.8% in March on the back of falling yields and foreign buying bringing the year to date returns back into positive territory at 0.9%.
Inflation-linked bonds gained 2.7% and preference shares 1.2% during the month of March. Year to date ILBs are up 1.7% while preference shares have declined 3.9%.
Listed property benefitted from falling bond yields and gained another massive 4.8%. Year to date the returns from listed property are 1.8%.
Cash returned 0.5% for the month and 1.3% year to date.
Both the US$ Platinum price and US$ Gold price fell in March losing 1.9% and 3.2% respectively. Year to date the US$ Platinum price is up 3.4% and the Gold price is up 6.5% in US$.
Brent Crude fell 1.1% in March binging the year to date decline in the oil price to 2.7%.
From a foreigner’s perspective, the Rand strengthened against the US Dollar (2.1%), against the Euro (2.2%) and Sterling (2.4%) in March.