The Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Sandton.
Johannesburg - Stocks rode a commodity rally higher on Thursday.

The benchmark JSE Top40 index closed 1.94 percent higher at 45523.12 points, while the wider all share index added 2.03 percent to 52748.97 points.

A broad-based commodities rally helped propel stocks higher as well as news that Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal was buying a £2 billion (R31.8 billion) stake in Anglo American, signalling a possible return to large-scale dealmaking in the sector.

Anglo American shares shot up 6.53 percent to R203.47, Lonmin jumped 10.87 percent to R14.79, Gold Fields gained 9.95 percent to R44.55 and Sibanye Gold advanced 8.09 percent to close at R26.86.

Meanwhile, a key index of world stocks climbed to record highs as investors digested Wednesday’s US interest rate increase and indications there would be no pick-up in the pace of monetary tightening.

European stock markets gained after the Dutch election victory by Prime Minister Mark Rutte, which fought off a challenge by anti-immigration, anti-EU rival, Geert Wilders.

On Wall Street, major US equity indices were modestly lower in late morning trading after gaining sharply in the wake of the Fed’s rate decision.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.2 percent to 20907.84 points.