Johannesburg - South African stocks scaled record highs on Wednesday, bucking global trends as a renewed bout of rand weakness helped lift some dual-listed and mining shares, but gains were seen short-lived as investors are still taking flight from risk.
Advancers included resources giant Anglo American, which added over 1 percent to 251.10 rand.
It was helped by rand weakness, which lifts the margins of its South African coal and platinum mines as these commodities are priced in dollars while the operational costs are local.
Its dual-listing in London also means if the domestic currency weakens, the rand value in Johannesburg has to rise to match the overseas price.
The rand was 0.60 percent weaker late on Wednesday.
“A lot of the time this market acts on a currency revaluation basis and the rand is weaker today. That can affect your dual-listings,” said George Glynos, managing director of financial consultancy ETM.
But rand weakness is also a double-edged sword and analysts said the market would battle to build on these gains and set new records in the short term.
“The weaker rand also tells you that sentiment is swinging away from risky assets so this looks like a temporary rally. I'm a bit concerned that things won't hold,” said Abri du Plessis, chief investment officer at Gryphon Asset Management.
There was little to sustain the Johannesburg rally.
World share indices remained near a one-week low as concerns over a potential government shutdown in Washington and mixed signals on US monetary policy kept investors cautious.
Technical factors also suggested South Africa's main indices were straying into overbought territory.
The Top-40 index rose 0.97 percent to 39,824.79, a life high.
The All-share index climbed 0.99 percent to 44,453.88, also a historic peak.
Decliners included mass-market lender Capitec Bank Holdings, which shed 0.8 percent after the company said chief executive and founder Riaan Stassen would retire at the end of the year.
That news overshadowed a 20 percent increase in its first-half earnings.
Advancers outnumbered decliners 239 to 93 with 54 shares unchanged, according to preliminary bourse data.
Volumes were average with around 177 million shares changing hands. - Reuters