Yesterday (October 19) was the 30th anniversary of Black Monday — when Wall Street recorded its largest fall (22,61 percent) since the Great Depression. As with almost every major historical milestone to effect global financial markets since, this event zero impact on the ZSE, which was at the time experiencing its strongest bull market run since Independence.
Glancing at last Wednesday’s closing level on the Industrials index – 487,15 — Mamvura had a moment of déjà vu. Growing up in the 1980s, the figure of 487 had been imprinted on his mind — in fact throughout his entire high school career.
The prospect of a settlement saw the Rhodesian Stock Exchange light up in mid-1979 and having been in the doldrums since mid-1974, it reached a new record high of 373,33 in November 1979, and the new all-time high of 487,01 on January 26, 1981.
This record stood for seven years as dissident woes and the nationalisation of the foreign pool in 1983, saw the market fall back to within a whisker of its 1964 base level of 100 in August 1984.
The ZSE indices were never set properly at dollarisation and have needed an overhaul for years to make them relevant, but a record is a record — even if most of the ZSE’s gains have come in the past two months.
If anyone in this market believed in technical analysis — especially based on 30-year-old data — this should have been the point of a sell off.
But not with the world’s most unique stock market. Three months after the Black Monday in October 1987, the Industrials reached a new all-time high and was in 1988 the best performing market in the world.
It will earn that honour again this year.