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

The JSE maintained its gains at noon‚ underpinned by platinum stocks‚ and luxury goods group Richemont (CFR) following an earnings forecast upgrade for the company by Credit Suisse.

At 12.39pm‚ the all share index was up 0.30% at 40‚274.89 points‚ with the top 40 index gaining 0.32% to 35‚747.63. The platinum index lifted 1.53% to its highest level in about nine months‚ suggesting renewed investor interest following the troughs of 2012.

“The markets are still looking for catalysts post the US fiscal cliff deal. The state of US corporate balance sheets will determine whether we get a further leg up or a much-needed pullback. Markets have thus far welcomed Alcoa’s results‚ which kicked off the US earnings season‚” said Devin Shutte‚ a trader at stockbrokerage Newstrading.

The all-share index is up 2.57% so far this year after rallying 22% last year.

Leading European shares were marginally firmer at noon‚ taking the lead from their Asian counterparts‚ after the positive start to the US fourth quarter corporate earnings period.

London’s FTSE 100 was last seen up 0.28%.

Among individual stocks on the JSE‚ Anglo American (AGL) was down 1.07% to R278.10‚ but Anglo American Platinum garnered 1.25% to R470.81. Lonmin (LON) was up 2.26% to R41.21 and Aquarius Platinum (AQP) recovered 6.68% to R9.10.

Richemont jumped 3.24% to R71.27‚ an all-time high after Credit Suisse upgraded the company outlook to “outperform” from “neutral”‚ citing improvement in leading macroeconomic indicators globally‚ particularly from China‚ Dow Jones Newswires reported. - I-Net Bridge