June 6, 2012 / 3:55 PM / 7 years ago

South African stocks cheered by resource rebound

JOHANNESBURG, June 6 (Reuters) - South African stocks closed firmer on Wednesday as battle-beaten platinum mining stocks regained some lustre and investors took cheer from an upbeat mood on global markets.

World number three platinum miner Lonmin jumped 6.8 percent to 100.39 rand while Impala Platinum climbed 5.6 percent to 141.39 rand.

Anglo American Platinum, the world’s largest producer of the precious metal, gained 4 percent to 510.13 rand.

The JSE Top-40 blue-chip index closed up 1.7 percent at 29,677.48 and the broader All-share index gained 1.47 percent to 33,603.35.

Johannesburg’s platinum index, which has fallen nearly 9 percent in the last four weeks, was 5 percent higher as investors dug for bargains among resources stocks that have clocked sharp losses over the last three months.

The world’s biggest miners also gained, with BHP Billiton and Anglo American closing 3 percent higher.

“Commodities is the story of the day but it is from a heavily oversold position,’ said PSG Securities trader Desmond Reilly.

Most commodity prices were up fairly strongly, with platinum rising 2 percent and silver 4 percent, fuelled by hopes of another stimulus package for the debt-ridden eurozone.

“There will be a bit of follow-through on this for the rest of the week barring any negative data,” Reilly said.

Telkom rebounded from Tuesday’s slump to its lowest in almost nine years. It added 2.5 percent to 20.50 rand.

The South African government might sell stock in Africa’s biggest fixed line operator to facilitate a turnaround. On Monday the government blocked South Korean telecommunications giant KT Corp from buying a 20 percents stake in Telkom, saying the stake was going too cheap.

South Africa’s largest retail bank Absa posted muted gains of 0.66 percent to close at 151.90 rand on its decision to pay $1.2 billion for the store credit card business of unlisted domestic retailer Edcon.

The move will see Absa, which is majority-owned by Britain’s Barclays Plc, bulking up its presence in the high-margin but riskier unsecured lending market.

A total of 234 million shares changed hands, according to preliminary data from the exchange, just below a 200-day moving average of about 250 million shares.

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