Platinum shares lead S.Africa stocks higher

JOHANNESBURG Fri Feb 1, 2013 10:27am EST

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JOHANNESBURG Feb 1 (Reuters) - South African shares tracked global stocks higher on Friday as platinum producers such as Impala led the benchmark index to briefly touch a life-time high.

Platinum shares have been on the back foot but optimism in the sector was lifted following a Lonmin trading statement that production in the last quarter of 2012 had recovered.

Johannesburg's All-Share index rose 0.29 percent to 40,601.09 and the Top-40 added 0.32 percent to 36,219.07. The blue-chip index had earlier rallied to 36,391.76, its highest level on record.

"The market is strong again today after a couple of weakish days. We've got upward momentum, it looks like the market wants to continue," said Rigardt Maartens, portfolio manager at PSG Securities.

Impala Platinum closed 2.9 percent higher at 167.17 rand. Anglo American Platinum, the world's top producer of the precious metal, followed with a 2.3 percent rise to 448.09 rand. Lonmin extended gains with a 1.6 percent gain to 51.38 rand.

Logistics firm Grindrod rose to a 2-year high after flagging full-year earnings likely increased by as much as 35 percent. The shares climbed 8.2 percent to 17.95 rand.

Dairy foods maker Clover was the worst performer on the All-Share index, slumping 7.7 percent after warning that strikes and high fuel costs had hurt first-half earnings.

Provisional bourse statistics show that 161 million shares were traded. Advancers outpaced decliners 167 to 130. (Reporting by Helen Nyambura-Mwaura; Editing by Ed Stoddard)

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