JTOPI, South Africas benchmark index tracking the 40 largest South African companies fell by almost 5% this week, its worst weekly loss since October 2020. The plunge was triggered by blows from the resurging virus, lower commodity prices and Tuesdays embarrassing trading system crash.
The Delta variant has become a dominant strain in South Africa and fears of rising cases have weighed on the local markets. In a week span, Naspers, the largest company in the exchange lost 14.7%. Large mining companies in the mineral rich country also suffered from weak commodities prices, with huge losses in share prices of Anglo American, Impala Platinum Holdings and Kumba Iron Ore.
Adding more fuel to the fire is the record trading at Africas oldest and biggest exchange (JSE) on Tuesday. The burst of trades paralyzed the system for five and a half hours, leaving traders unable to buy and sell.
iShares MSCI South Africa ETF (EZA), the largest South African ETF with $250 million in assets under management fell by -5.53% since the start of the week. The fund invests in large and mid-cap South African equities.
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