The JSE. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi.

The JSE and the top-40 index touched new all-time highs on Tuesday afternoon‚ but closed just below those levels‚ on the back of renewed investor optimism in SA commodity stocks‚ which lifted the bourse.

Resources lent the biggest support today‚ followed by gold miners and platinum counters‚ whilst investors were keenly awaiting Wednesday’s FOMC minutes and any further clues on when the US Federal Reserve may ease monetary policy‚ as well as expectations of stimulus in China.

At 5pm the JSE all share index was up 1.02% to 35‚832.84 points and the top-40 index gained 1.06%. The all-share earlier touched 35‚889.57 points‚ altogether 24 points higher than its previous all-time high.

“We saw a nice pick-up today with a lot of optimism on the markets with resources the leader of the day. We saw good buying into the euro against the dollar which propped up our commodities. We see renewed investor support in our commodities‚ which has lifted the poorly performing sector‚” said Devin Shutte‚ market analyst at stockbrokerage Newstrading.

Meanwhile financial company shares led US stocks higher on Tuesday‚ putting the market on track to reach fresh multi-year highs.

World markets were generally higher with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 49.71 points‚ or 0.37%‚ to 13‚321.35 points at 4.55pm local time.

In London the FTSE was last seen up 0.67% at 5‚863.31 points‚ shaking off some eurozone uncertainty that had weighed on the market previously.

The gold price and platinum price showed good gains‚ up 1.2% and 1.29% respectively‚ to trade at R1‚639 per ounce and R1‚506 per ounce.

Local stocks that showed good gains were Anglo American (AGL) up R5.79‚ or 2.30%‚ at R257.38 and BHP Billiton (BIL) up R3.12‚ or 1.23%‚ at R257.20.

Amongst platinum counters‚ Amplats (AMS) added R9.98‚ or 2.38%‚ at R430.00‚ Impala Platinum was up R3.15‚ or 2.37%‚ at R136.00 and Aquarius (AQP) added 42 cents‚ or 8.75%‚ to R5.22.

Lonmin (LON) closed R2.85‚ or 3.56%‚ higher at R82.83. The platinum miner reported a 33% staff attendance on Tuesday morning at its Marikana mine‚ as the majority of workers ignored requests from the company and unions to return to work. Lonmin employs 28‚000 people at 11 shafts in the area and is losing 15‚000oz of platinum each week its mines are idle.

Amongst gold miners‚ Anglogold Ashanti added R6.20‚ or 2.20%‚ at R287.95 and Harmony (HAR) gained R3.75‚ or 4.97%‚ to R79.17.

Gold miner Village Main Reef (VIL) closed 8 cents‚ or 6.06%‚ stronger at R1.40 on Tuesday. It reported a 0.73% decline in its total gold production for the quarter ended June 2012 to 46‚424oz from the previous quarter‚ which excludes production from its Blyvoor operations.

Shoprite Holdings (SHL) closed R3.52‚ or 2.25%‚ higher at R159.95. The company on Tuesday reported a 19.6% rise in headline earnings per share to 607.04 cents for the year ended June 2012 from 507.6 cents a year ago.

Absa (ASA) closed R1.25 softer at R141.01. Absa and Barclays are in negotiations about combining the majority of the Barclays Africa operations with Absa. The companies issued a cautionary announcement on Tuesday‚ advising that in line with their strategy to operate as one bank in Africa‚ they are engaged in discussions. - I-Net Bridge