The JSE closed firmer on Wednesday as positive global sentiment, buoyed by better Chinese data, drove shares higher across the board.
All the indices closed higher, led by the gold index climbing 3.74%, platinums gaining 2.82%, resources up 2.16% and the banking index recovering 2.03%. Financials added 1.81% and industrials 0.53%.
At 5pm the all share was up 1.22% at 46 425.11, with the top 40 index rising 1.33%.
Sasfin Securities portfolio manager Laurette Viljoen said gold and resources were the main drivers of the market for the day as commodity prices firmed and good data from China indicated the demand for commodities remained strong.
“That was even though the rand was in a stronger range.”
Chinese trade figures for January exceeded expectations with the trade surplus much higher than expected. Imports were particularly strong, indicating that concerns about possible lower Chinese growth could be overblown.
US Federal Reserve chairman Janet Yellen’s comments also improved market confidence.
“She strongly indicated tapering and stimulus cuts would continue at a measured pace, but left some leeway for adverse economic considerations.”
“Banking shares made a good recovery,” Viljoen said. “It seems concerns about higher interest rates are being factored into prices.”
Viljoen said the higher platinum and gold prices were still indicative of some uncertainty in the market. Although the market still had high valuations on average, it had pull backed to some extent. “It could be set for another run.”
Diversified mining house Glencore (GLN) closed 2.17% higher at R61.30, equalling its previous high, after its recent production report for 2013 indicated widespread rises in output, mainly for copper.
Sasol (SOL) firmed 2.05% to R538.43.
Base metal miner Assore (ASR) closed 7.45% up at R415.30 after announcing on Wednesday that its first-half earnings had more than doubled over the previous comparable period.
Among gold shares local producer Sibanye (SGL) closed at a new high of R18.15, 6.83% higher for the day. Gold Fields (GFI) rose 3.70% to R43.17.
At 5.15pm the gold price was at $1294.45 per fine ounce from Tuesday’s close of $1286.81.
Amplats (AMS) led the gains in platinum shares, closing 4.84% up at R465.49, with Implats (IMP) firming 2.97% to R123.05.
At 5.15pm the platinum price was at $1404.20, up 1.53% from the previous day’s close.
Among industrials Imperial (IPL) was up 3.81% to R167 with Bidvest (BVT) firming 1.29% to R241.70.
Barclays Africa’s (BGA) share price continued to find favour in the market after its 2013 results were released on Tuesday, closing 3.23% higher at R131.62. Unsecured lender African Bank (ABL) recovered strongly by 5.88% to R9.90.
JD Group (JDG) was 3.11% lower at R24.61 after it previously communicated a loss for 2013 to the market, due to higher provisioning on its lending. It also plans a right issue.
Comair (COM) was 3.44% lower at R3.65 after rising on Tuesday following the release of interim results showing revenue was up 23% and cash generation was strong. Analysts expressed some cost concerns from the weaker rand.
Grindrod (GND) closed 2.97% up at R25.64 after announcing on Tuesday that Grindrod Bank would administer new S&P Dow Jones indices for the exchange traded fund market.