Springbok game 'distracts' traders on JSE

South African equities traders have had a busy week, as fears of a global slowdown spurred market tumult.

Friday's session came with an added complication: a big rugby World Cup game in the middle of the day.

The must-win match against Italy at the tournament in Japan for the Springboks drew some traders away from their screens. JSE volumes dropped to less than half their average for the past 20 sessions during the first half of the game.

South Africa rushed to an early lead and won 49-3.

A giant screen in the entrance to the JSE was devoted to the Springboks-Azzuri clash, while the ticker of stock prices that usually runs along the bottom of the display was relegated to a side panel.

About 70 exchange staff, many wearing South African rugby shirts, were enjoying food including "boerewors" rolls provided by caterers. It was a scene that played out at restaurants in Johannesburg's Sandton financial district.

The tone was set earlier in the day when Johannesburg money manager Vestact, which warned in its morning note against phoning its offices during the game as "we will be unable to take your call".

The good news is that a successful tournament for South Africa shouldn't disrupt trading too badly: the quarter-final, semi-final and final will all played at the weekend.

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