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JSE stocks higher as Shoprite gains

Johannesburg - South African stocks rose more than 1 percent on Friday, capping their best weekly performance in six weeks as Shoprite and other companies sensitive to consumer spending advanced, a day after the central bank kept interest rates steady.

Logistics firm Grindrod slipped 1.4 percent to 26.10 rand after it said it would issue up to 4 billion rand of new shares to fund expansion projects.

Photo: Leon Nicholas. Credit: INDEPENDENT MEDIA

South Africa's central bank left rates steady at 5.5 percent on Thursday, helping boost shares of some companies reliant on consumer spending.

A rate increase would likely put more pressure on debt-burdened South Africans.

“It looks like the bulls are firmly in the drivers seat. The mining stocks, despite the strikes, are showing signs of life,” said Ryan Woods, a trader at Independent Securities.

“We are due for some sort of pull-back, the question is 'when'?”

The benchmark Top-40 index ended up 1.2 percent at 43,167.60, just shy of its record high of 43,434.57.

The index recorded its best weekly performance since the middle of February.

The broader All-Share index also advanced 1.2 percent, to 47,930.03.

Shoprite, Africa's largest retailer, gained 2.8 percent to 158.50 rand.

Fellow retailer Woolworths Holdings added nearly 1 percent to 73.46 rand.

Trade was active, with 212 million shares changing hands.

A total of 221 shares advanced, 97 declined and 56 were unchanged. - Reuters

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