JOHANNESBURG - South African stocks gained for a fifth straight session on Monday, as signs of improving US economic growth helped markets ease into holiday mode with last-minute festive buying.
But bullion producers such as Harmony Gold remained out of favour as the gold price edged down and headed for its biggest yearly loss since 1981.
Harmony is near 14-year lows and shed 1.81 percent on Monday to 24.48 rand, though some charts suggest it is now well into oversold territory.
This year has been a tough one for South African gold producers which have grappled with falling prices and rumbling labour unrest.
“The mining shares are still really battling, especially gold and platinum. Those sectors are out of favour because of all the problems we have seen,” said Ferdi Heyneke, portfolio manager at Afrifocus Securities.
The Top-40 index ended 0.41 percent higher at 39,997.51. The wider All-share index added 0.4 percent to 44,753.19.
Both indices are back within striking distance of all-time highs scaled last month.
“We are seeing a bit of a Santa rally and if we continue to rally into the New Year new records will not be a problem,” said Heyneke.
Advancers outnumbered decliners 174 to 110 with 65 issues unchanged. Volumes were light with around 89 million shares changing hands, according to preliminary bourse data.