Stocks near 7-month highs

By Reuters Time of article published Jan 20, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - Local stocks rose to near seven-month highs on Friday, underpinned by gains in heavyweight Richemont and mining firms, while the rand fell against a broadly stronger dollar.

Richemont led the Top40 index higher, surging 5.82percent to R121.25 after the world’s second-biggest luxury goods group, reported a 4percent rise in third quarter sales, helped by double-digit growth in China and South Korea.

Resources continued to do some heavy lifting, with the mining index 2.66percent firmer points amid gains in gold, platinum and iron ore producers. Gold edged higher on Friday but posted its first weekly decline in six as solid Chinese data and a preliminary US-China trade deal improved risk appetite.

Palladium rose over 9percent to a record high as the market grapples with deep supply shortages, while platinum rose 1.01percent. This boosted Sibanye by 5.32percent to R39,20, African Rainbow Minerals by 4.54percent at R187.82, Impala Platinum by 3.11percent to R154.61 and Glencore by 1.32percent at R46.10.

In fixed income, the yield on the benchmark government bond was down 1 basis points at 8.18 percent.

The bourse also got a lift from improved global risk appetite following Chinese growth figures that suggested the world’s second-biggest economy was stabilising.

The JSE all share index rose 1.35percent to 59001.87 points, a level last seen on June24, while the Top40 index climbed 1.48percent to 52735 points.

In the currency market, the rand gave up Friday morning gains as rate cut momentum gave way to the impact of a broadly stronger dollar. At 5pm, the rand bid at R14.4398 to the dollar, 2cents softer that at the same time on Thursday.

Market participants were also cautious as the ANC started a four-day national executive meeting and the party’s Lekgotla gathering.

The ANC is expected to discuss options for struggling state-owned firms such as power utility Eskom and South African Airways. I Reuters


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