The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) All Share Index reached a record intra-day high on the 8th of December of just over 73 000 points.
This compares with 60 000 points at the beginning of the year and represents a rise of around 20%.
This, despite weak economic growth, record unemployment, the highest consumer price inflation rate since 2017 and no end in sight for the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the record performance of the JSE can be explained by the fact that the top-four shares on the JSE account for around 50% of the value of the entire stock market.
These are Naspers, BHP, Richemont and Anglo American, who make most of their profits outside of South Africa, with the weak rand giving those profits an extra boost.
And most major economies in the world enjoyed huge financial stimulus measures and ultra-low interest rates, flooding stock markets with cheap money and lifting stocks.
Some of this money also found its way into emerging markets, such as South Africa’s JSE, resulting in a record high amidst weak economic data.