January 28, 2013 / 4:26 PM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-S.Africa stocks book record close after dip into red

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JOHANNESBURG, Jan 28 (Reuters) - South African stocks booked record closes after turning positive in late Monday trading, lifted by positive U.S. durable goods data and a strong showing from locally listed shares of brewer SABMiller.

The broad All-Share index touched a new intraday high in morning trade but stocks later turned negative, weighed down by a bearish sentiment in global equities markets.

The index ended 0.2 percent higher at 40,618.32 while the blue chip Top-40 index gained 0.26 percent to 36,157.58 - both record closing highs.

"Most of the guidance came from durable goods from the U.S., which comfortably beat expectations. That started pushing things into positive territory," said Byron Lotter, portfolio manager at wealth manager Vestact.

"That's another indication of the housing market in the U.S. picking up, which is vital for the global economy because the U.S. consumer is extremely important."

Retailers such as Mr. Price were among the companies whose shares fell hard as investors booked profits following a rally in the previous session. It dipped over 2.2 percent to 125 rand, while upmarket rival Woolworths dropped 1.5 percent.

Cement producer PPC Ltd declined 3.6 percent after the company indicated it could take a hit in its business in Zimbabwe, where the government has been forcing foreign firms to sell shares to locals.

Harmony Gold fell 3.3 percent to 62.14 rand as investors fretted its mine closure would hit performance. South Africa's third-biggest producer of the precious metal has closed its lucrative Kusasalethu mine over security concerns following months of labour unrest.

Johannesburg-listed shares of SABMiller benefited from market chatter that its Chinese joint venture CR Snow was in talks with Hong Kong-listed Kingway Brewery Holdings . SABMiller climbed 1.5 percent to 438.30 rand.

Some 153 million shares were traded, according to provisional bourse statistics. Advancers and decliners were tied at 153 each while another 64 companies remained flat. (Reporting by Helen Nyambura-Mwaura; Editing by Jon Herskovitz)

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