Johannesburg - South African stocks booked a record close on Monday with the broader All Share index coming within a point of its all-time high as shares of bullion producers like Gold Fields rose in line with a firmer spot price for the metal.
The JSE All-share index gained 0.62 percent to 45,401.67 and the Top-40 index was up 0.6 percent at 40,555.28.
Both were record closing levels and the indices remain within easy striking range of life highs.
The All-share came just a point short of its historic peak of 45,486.01 during the session.
Gold hit a fresh five-week high on Monday after weak US economic data buoyed investor belief that the US Federal Reserve would stick with its bullion-friendly stimulus measures at a policy meeting later this week.
“We have seen gold breaking through $1,355 an ounce, so the market is taking some comfort from there,” said Greg Davies, an equities trader at Cratos Capital in Johannesburg.
“Gold shares have been heavily sold off with a lot of bad news in them already,” he said.
In recent days gold shares have been rebounding but overall the gold mining index is down about 40 percent so far this year.
Bullion has fallen nearly 20 percent this year as investors dumped gold holdings for better-performing equities and on fears that the end of easy money from the US central bank would dim the metal's inflation-hedge appeal.
Johannesburg's gold mining index ended 3.5 percent higher on Monday with Gold Fields the stand out performer on the day after adding 4.89 percent to 48.86 rand.
Decliners included building materials retailer Cashbuild , which dropped 2 percent to 155 rand after it said trading conditions were tough in the first quarter of its 2014 financial year, with sales up by just 3 percent.
Advancers outpaced decliners 191 to 101, according to preliminary bourse data, while 70 listings were unchanged with 122 million shares changing hands. - Reuters