Johannesburg - South African stocks booked their highest close on record for a third straight day on Wednesday, edging up nearly 0.4 percent and boosted by Adcock Ingram after the drug maker said nearly half of its shareholders support a takeover bid.
Sentiment was also lifted by market hopes the US Federal Reserve would announce plans to keep its bond-buying programme intact for a while longer.
Continued stimulus is expected to boost riskier assets such as emerging market equities.
“Everyone is still focused on what the Fed is doing. As long as they stay on focus, we will remain bullish,” said Andrew Bryson, a trader with Nedbank Private Wealth.
The benchmark Top-40 index finished up 0.35 percent at 40,740.09, its highest close on record.
It earlier touched a lifetime high of 40,842.11.
The broader All-Share index added 0.37 percent to 45,611.91, also a record finish.
Adcock gained 1.7 percent to 71.20 rand, which helped lift the pharmaceutical index by 0.8 percent and made it one of the best performing sectors in Johannesburg.
The drug maker rose on news that 45 percent of its shareholders would support a $1.3 billion takeover bid by Chile's CFR Pharmaceuticals.
Coal of Africa added more than 2 percent to 1.36 rand after it announced finalisation of a $21.4 million loan for working capital.
On the other hand, furniture maker Steinhoff fell 2 percent to 38.12 rand after saying holders of bonds worth an outstanding 1.4 billion rand had the option to convert their bonds into ordinary shares.
The company also said it was prepared to redeem all the outstanding bonds in November.
Investors traded 5.5 million Steinhoff shares, according to Reuters data, making it the third-most traded stock on the bourse.
Activity was relatively robust with 160 million shares traded, with 190 companies advancing and 122 declining, according to interim stock exchange statistics. - Reuters