Johannesburg - South Africa's All-Share index booked its highest finish on record on Thursday, rising 0.22 percent as a spike in the bullion price boosted gold producers such as AngloGold Ashanti and Sibanye Gold.
Shares of Life Healthcare rose 2.4 percent to 38.52 rand after the private hospital group said full-year earnings likely rose by as much as 22 percent.
While sentiment was marginally boosted by news of a temporary deal to avoid a US debt default, investors had already priced in expectations of such a deal, said Reuben Beelders, a portfolio manager at Gryphon Asset Management.
“People will start focusing on fundamentals again,” he said.
“From a valuation perspective, we certainly aren't a screaming buy at this time.”
The All-Share index, the widest measure of South African stock performance, rose to 44,514.12, its highest close on record.
Earlier in the session it touched a record high of 44,623.47.
The benchmark Top-40 index finished up 0.28 percent at 39,787.24.
Gold rose more than 3 percent as investors bet a temporary deal to avoid a historic US debt default might prompt the Federal Reserve to delay reducing its additional monetary stimulus.
That lifted industry leader AngloGold Ashanti 5.8 percent to 143.24 rand.
Smaller rival Sibanye jumped 5.7 percent to 13.25 rand.
SABMiller rose 4 percent to 499.40 rand after the world's second-largest beer maker said first-half net revenue rose 4 percent, driven by growth in Latin America and Africa.
Shares of Shoprite edged down 0.5 percent to 174.10 rand.
Zambia on Thursday threatened to shut Shoprite's operations after the retailer fired 3,000 workers who went on strike.
Trade was relatively slow, with 155 million shares changing hands, according to preliminary bourse data.
A total of 136 shares advanced, 159 declined and 58 were unchanged. - Reuters