THE JSE all share index closed at a record high for the third time this week on Thursday‚ underpinned by a rise in platinum‚ resources and gold mining stocks.
Local strikes in the platinum sector and emerging-market currency risk aversion caused rand weakness‚ which in turn buoyed the local bourse.
At 5pm‚ the all share index closed 0.09% higher at 47‚045.44 points‚ with the blue-chip top 40 index 0.12% firmer.
The platinum index led the gainers‚ up 1.90%‚ on possible supply concerns as strikes in the sector are set to go into their second day on Friday.
The resource index was the second-biggest gainer‚ adding 1.67%‚ as a depreciating rand underpinned mining counters‚ as these companies earn most of their revenue in dollars.
“After a weak open‚ the JSE all share index rebounded as the day progressed‚ led by stronger resource counters. The rand is significantly weaker against major currencies in line with its softer emerging-market counterparts. Strike activity in the platinum sector added further pressure to the local currency‚” IG SA analyst Shaun Murison said.
“Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum have called for constructive and peaceful engagement with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) regarding wage negotiations‚ while Amcu has agreed to government mediation in aid of finding a resolution to the work stoppages. Platinum and precious metal counters appear to have welcomed the news‚” he said.
“Amcu strike action at Sibanye Gold’s Driefontein as well as Harmony Gold’s Kusasalethu and Masimong mines have been suspended pending a Labour Court ruling‚ which is expected on January 30. Gold counter gains were less impressive than their platinum counterparts but early morning losses were successfully erased‚” he said.
The gold index added 1.53% on a firmer spot gold price‚ which‚ at 5.15pm local time on Thursday‚ was at $1‚263.73 an ounce‚ up 2.17% from its overnight close.
At the same time‚ the rand was at R10.9584 against the dollar from Wednesday’s close of R10.8628‚ having touched a weakest intraday level of R10.9929/$ in afternoon trade.
Among individual shares on the JSE, Anglo American gained 2.79% to R252.34 and oil giant Sasol closed at a record high of R557.97, an increase of 2.82% on the day, as the weaker rand underpinned the stock.
Kumba Iron Ore leapt 3.62% to R458 and ArcelorMittal jumped 4.61% to R40.82.
Platinum shares all gained value after industrial action began at SA’s three major platinum miners: Lonmin‚ Impala Platinum and Anglo American Platinum on Thursday morning.
Lonmin led the pack, adding 2.63% to R58.59, despite having said on Thursday it expected losses in production of 3‚100 platinum ounces a day during the strike.
Anglo American Platinum firmed 2.32% to R442.01 and Northam Platinum gained 2.15% to R47.10. Impala Platinum (IMP) lifted 1.35% to R127.55.
Gold miner Gold Fields added 2.49% to R37.50 and Harmony rose 1.2% to R31.25. Sibanye gained 2.5% to R14.77.
Industrial group AVI closed 1.28% lower at R53.80 despite the industrial group’s positive trading update on Thursday. The group reported a 10.4% rise in revenue to R5.40bn for the six months ended December 2013 from R4.89bn a year ago.
Furniture group Steinhoff International Holdings (SHF) gave back 1.5% to R46.05 after launching a €400m bond offering.