JSE stocks rise but mining shares fall

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IOL image JSE interior view INDEPENDENT MEDIA The JSE is seen in this file photo: Leon Nicholas.

Johannesburg - South African stocks rose for a third-straight session on Wednesday, led by industrials and retailers, while concerns over a fresh wave of violent strikes in the mining sector weighed on resource shares.

Shares of media and e-commerce group Naspers jumped 5.73 percent to 699.10 rand after Chinese internet firm Tencent Holdings posted a sharp rise in first-quarter profit. Tencent is more than 30 percent owned by Naspers, whose shares hit a life-time high of 702.45 rand during the session.

“The defensive stocks, especially the industrials and retailers, are going very strongly,” said Ferdi Heyneke, a portfolio manager at Afrifocus Securities.

“But mining shares are still seeing a lot of negative sentiment around the labour issues. Mining shares are continuing to be sold off.”

The JSE Top-40 index rose 0.75 percent to 36,322.20 and the broader All-share index also added 0.75 percent to 41,014.98.

Retailer Woolworths gained 3.58 percent to 80.25 rand, hitting its all-time high.

Shares in platinum mining company Lonmin were largely flat at 37.68 rand after tumbling more than 6 percent on Tuesday. Workers at its South African shafts who went a wildcat strike on Tuesday were poised to end their walkout on Wednesday.

South Africa is the world's top platinum producer but mining firms have been hard hit by falling prices and strikes.

Analysts from Moody's said revived labour unrest in the mining industry could impact export competitiveness and threaten the credit rating of Africa's top economy.

No. 1 platinum producer Anglo American Platinum lost 0.83 percent to 298.50 rand, while rival Impala Platinum fell 1.57 percent to 97.35 rand.

AngloGold Ashanti dropped 3.09 percent to 165.23 rand and Gold Fields closed 4.39 percent lower at 57.32 rand.

An average of 190 million shares changed hands, according to preliminary data from the exchange, with 169 stocks advancing and 135 declining while 59 were unchanged. - Reuters

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