The reception area of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. File picture: Leon Nicholas

Johannesburg - South African stocks gained for the third straight session on Monday, led by gold and platinum producers as the price of both precious metals cruised higher.

AngloGold Ashanti topped the gainers list on the benchmark index, rising 6.9 percent to 175.74 rand. Africa's biggest gold producer also said it will sell its Namibian unit for $110 million to focus on bigger operations.

Gold rose on Monday after a weak US jobs report last week raised questions over economic recovery, which could potentially slow the pace of the Federal Reserve's stimulus tapering.

The prospects of easy US monetary policy staying in place longer than expected has also helped direct some of the excess liquidity out there back into emerging markets which is positive for South Africa.

The US jobs data, according Mpumi Bomvana, a trader at Sanlam Private Investments, “lifted the mood in eastern markets and our market followed suit.”

The JSE Top-40 index added 1.33 percent to 41,321.02 and the broader All-share index was up 1.28 percent at 45,920.87.

Sanlam also featured on the gainers' list after the nation's No. 2 insurer gave a profit guidance that beat analysts' forecasts.

Its stock jumped 5.7 percent to 51 rand, the biggest daily percentage gain in more than two years.

The world's top platinum producers - Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin - gained between 3 and 4 percent as a strike over wages dragged on.

Investors were betting the expected supply crunch of the precious metal would propel prices higher and benefit producers because they have ample above-ground stock in the pipeline to meet orders, at least for now.

A weaker rand has also boosted the platinum price in the local currency.

Advancers outnumbered decliners 188 to 114, with about 180 million shares changing hands, according to preliminary bourse data. - Reuters