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Bourse gains for third session in a row

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Johannesburg - Stocks gained for a third consecutive session on Wednesday, buoyed by firms with strong earnings outside their home market.

The benchmark JSE Top40 index was up 0.99 percent at 46984.45 points, while the broader all share index firmed 0.79 percent to 53680.69 points.

Luxury goods group Richemont was the biggest gainer among the blue chips, advancing 3.75 percent to R112.41. The firm sells high-value items such as Cartier watches and Mont Blanc pens to the world’s wealthy, mostly outside the country.

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Local companies with large exposure to foreign earnings are referred to as “rand hedges” by local traders as their shares often rise when the currency weakens against the dollar.

Steinhoff, which has retail assets in Europe, Britain and the US, gained 3.28 percent to R68.99.

“The rand is not really helping our resources, commodity prices have come down, but definitely helping the vanilla rand hedges like your CFR (Richemont), British American Tobacco, Reinet and those kind of things,” said BP Bernstein trader, Vasili Tirasis.

Resource stocks were weaker, with Impala Platinum, which said it could cut jobs at one of its mines due to low prices and labour unrest, declining 2.68 percent to close at R42.90.

Markets were closed Thursday for Freedom Day.

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