The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange continues to lead African markets after the year’s first quarter. It closed 11.94% up, a far distance from the second-highest, the Egyptian Exchange, which returned 1.27%. The ZSE has returned more than 166% so far this year as investors seek to store value in listed equities. Authorities in Zimbabwe insist on using the local currency even as it spirals on the black market against the US Dollar, trading between ZWL320-350 per US Dollar – against the official ZWL159.35 per US Dollar. The more than 100% disparity between the official exchange rate and the black market rate creates significant problems for local industries. The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI), the country’s largest business membership organization, recently riled the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe when it wrote a paper outlining its concerns about the continued use of the increasingly unpopular local currency. Consensus is heavily tilted toward the return of the US Dollar as the primary currency.
Foreign Exchange Auction Results – 26 April 2022 pic.twitter.com/OXcVfCjzP1— Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (@ReserveBankZIM) April 26, 2022
Elsewhere, the JSE closed up 0.74%, while the BRVM, Lusaka Exchange, Morocco, and Uganda all closed in the red. The South African Rand continued a losing streak that began a week ago against the US Dollar as investors flock to safe investments.
European markets have continued a losing streak, closing the second day of the week mainly in the red. The German DAX, which has shed 13.4% so far this year, closed the day down 1.20%, while France’s CAC 40 index was down 0.54%. The FTSE 100 index was up by a slight 0.08% in the UK.
Nasdaq drops almost 4%
US markets closed another gloomy day led by big tech stocks such as Apple, Microsoft, and Alphabet, all above 3% in the red. Amazon also shed 4.58%. But Tesla was the biggest notable loser, closing over 12% in the red as investors weighed the notion that Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter could affect his commitment to Tesla or whether he would sell stock to finance his Twitter deal. The DJIA closed the day down 2.38%, while the S&P 500 shed 2.82%. The Nasdaq reached new 2022 lows, closing the day’s proceedings down 3.95%.
In Asia, the Nikkei 225 and Hang Seng indices added 0.41 and 0.33 percentage points, respectively, while in China, the Shanghai Composite index shed 1.44 percentage points. In South Korea, the Kospi also added 0.42 percentage points on a day that Asian shares started the day stronger, only to lose momentum during the day’s proceedings.
South Korea earlier reported a slightly better-than-forecasted GDP growth rate for Q1, 2022. The economy grew by 0.7 percent in the three months to March 2022. Annual growth for the same period was 3.1 percent. Australia was the worst mover, with the S&P/ASX 200 index losing 2.08% on the day.