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

Johannesburg – Rand-hedged stocks and resources lifted the JSE to a near two-week intraday high on Wednesday after the currency fell to its weakest point to the US dollar in about eight weeks.

By 5pm when the market closed‚ the all share index was up 0.68% at 40‚185.19 points‚ with the top 40 index gaining 0.71% to 35‚739.51‚ with the gold and resource indices garnering 1.48% and 1.31% respectively.

“Rand weakness is the broader theme in the absence of fresh drivers‚” said Ryan Wibberley‚ equity dealer at Investec Asset Management.

The rand‚ which also weakened sharply against the British pound and the euro‚ bounced off the R9/$ level - the weakest intraday level since November 21. Big capitalisation counters with dual listings benefited from rand weakness‚ which bolsters their dollar earnings.

Leading European shares were mixed in late trade‚ with London’s FTSE 100 edging up 0.17% at 4.46pm local time and in the US the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.45%.

Among individual stocks‚ resources giant BHP Billiton (BIL) rallied 2.63% to R300.08 and Sasol gained 2.32% to R375 but Impala Platinum dropped 2.27% to 166.70. AngloGold Ashanti (ANG) was up 1.69% to R263.91 and Gold Fields (GFI) gained 1.49% to R109.30. SABMiller (SAB) was up 1.76% to R426.40 and Richemont (CFR) lifted 2.03% to R72.44‚ while MTN Group (MTN) shed 1.56% to R175.70.

Group Five (GRF) was up 3.28% to R31.50 and Murray and Roberts (MUR) gained 1.31% to R24.82. - I-Net Bridge