Mineworkers drill at the rock face at the Impala Platinum mine in Rustenburg, South Africa. Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd is the world's second-biggest platinum producer. Photographer: Nadine Hutton/Bloomberg News

Johannesburg - Precious metals prices were boosted on Wednesday - the first trading day of 2013 - on news of a last minute deal in the US to avert the fiscal cliff.

Mining stocks on the JSE followed suit‚ with the resource index collecting 3.68%‚ the gold mining index adding 1.38% and the platinum mining index advancing 1.11%‚ taking the JSE all share index to a fresh record high. At 12.30pm local time the JSE was 1.62%‚ or 624.3 points stronger at 39‚874.54.

At 12.30pm spot gold was quoted at US$1‚681.84 a fine ounce‚ up $11/oz on its previous close‚ while the price of platinum soared $29.50/oz to $1‚562.00/oz.

Dow Jones Newswires reported that spot gold was up in Europe after the approval of a much-awaited deal to avert the US fiscal cliff helped boost risk appetite.

Investors no longer have to plough into the dollar as an ultimate safe haven‚ which has caused the euro to rise against the greenback‚ heightening the comparative appeal of the dollar-denominated precious metals.

Gold once again seems to be behaving as a risk-related asset rather than a safe haven after the House of Representatives Wednesday approved a far-reaching tax bill and the postponing of some across-the-board spending cuts.

Among resource stocks on the JSE‚ Anglo American plc (AGL) added 5.6% to R274.19 and BHP Billiton (BIL) collected 4.32% to R305.42.

Among platinum shares‚ Angloplats (AMS) was 2.5% higher at R457.52‚ Lonmin (LON) collected 3.91% to R40.43 and Aquarius Platinum (AQP) soared 8.94% to R8.04.

Among gold counters‚ AngloGold (ANG) was up 1.78% to R267 and Gold Fields (GFI) collected 1.18% to R104.94.

- I-Net Bridge