FILE PHOTO: Mine Captain Kalisa Vincent, 67, walks in a tunnel at the Kilembe mines, in the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains
JOHANNESBURG - Harmony Gold Mining Company rose to become the best performer on the JSE yesterday as mining stocks marched on higher precious metals and iron ore prices.

The JSE Gold Mining Index jumped 3.04percent to 1585 from 1539 in the previous close on firmer metal prices.

Platinum inched up 1.33percent to $918 an ounce and the bullion rose 0.50percent to $1298 an ounce giving momentum to the JSE Mining Index which increased 1.37percent to 40137.36.

Harmony Gold rose 7.5percent to R28.37 a share.

Seleho Tsatsi, an investment analyst at Joburg-based Anchor Capital, said the group had managed to increase its stock by 11.5percent in the year to date.

“It looks like the share is volatile from day to day, but over the year it has been largely flat.

"The market has anticipated now to be a good time to buy gold following the dovish tone from the US Federal Reserve (Fed), but we’re yet to actually see higher gold prices,” Tsatsi said.

On Friday, the US labour department reported job growth had returned to normal, adding 196000 net new jobs.

The global political and trade uncertainties and an extremely dovish Fed have seen US President Donald Trump call for interest rate cuts and the resumption of economic stimulus.

Sibanye-Stillwater yesterday jumped 5.5percent to R17.25 a share and Anglo American Platinum rose 5.02percent to R835 a share.

Platinum producer Impala Platinum rose 2.23percent to R64.30 a share, and AngloGold Ashanti rose 3.55percent to R193.46 a share. Kumba Iron Ore was 5.76percent a share higher at R468.94 and Gold Fields was 4.11percent higher at R55.45 a share.

Record palladium and rhodium prices have helped JSE listed Platinum group Metals recover waning fortunes last year. Operating profits have more than doubled for Impala, Anglo American Platinum, and Northam Platinum.

Yesterday, Citigroup said iron ore was poised to hit $100 a ton and investors “should ‘chase’ this year’s rally, not sell into it”.

The JSE all share index has strengthened 7.1percent in the first three months of this year, signalling the best quarter since 2007.