JSE stocks end higher, Kumba sparkles

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The JSE board in Sandton in Johannesburg. Photo: Leon Nicholas.

Johannesburg - South African stocks booked a 1.6 percent gain in their first day of trading after a long weekend, led by Kumba Iron Ore after the mining firm gave an upbeat guidance for its full-year results.

Markets were closed on Monday for a public holiday.

Overall, investors remained on the edge ahead of a two-day US Federal Reserve meeting that is expected to clear up when the FED plans to start winding down its stimulus programme.

“We're playing a bit of a catch-up with Europe and the US markets after a long weekend but the Fed meeting is what everyone would be watching in the next two days,” said Andrew Bryson, a trader at Nedbank Private Wealth said.

The debate over when the Fed will begin to halt its flow of cheap dollars has dominated trading worldwide for months amid worries it could trigger a turbulent reaction from investors who have become all too used to aggressive stimulus.

Johannesburg's main stock index rose 1.59 percent to 39,149.01 and the broader All-share index was 1.54 percent higher at 43,848.95.

Kumba Iron Ore topped the gainers list on the blue-chip index after the unit of mining giant Anglo American said full-year profit likely rose by at least 20 percent.

Shares in the company ended 7.1 percent higher at 423 rand, logging their biggest daily percentage gain in nearly 1-1/2 years.

Clover added 1.63 percent to 17.30 rand after the dairy and beverage producer said first-half profit likely rose by at least 20 percent.

Also in the news, takeover target Adcock Ingram was down 0.47 percent at 70.14 rand after its biggest shareholder rejected a sweetened offer from Chile's CFR Pharmaceuticals at the weekend.

Trade was relatively slow, with 153 million shares changing hands, with 93 decliners and 212 advancers.

A total of 49 shares remained unchanged. - Reuters

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