South African stocks ended in the black on Tuesday led by e-commerce giant Naspers and after a resurgence by gold and platinum shares.
The spot gold price was up by about 1 percent as markets fret about a slowdown in China’s economy and that the Ukrainian crisis would dampen investor appetite for risky assets.
Platinum has also remained firm since hitting a six-month high of $1,486.00 an ounce last week. Miners of the precious white metal have been off work in major producer South Africa for nearly seven weeks demanding higher wages.
One trader said he did not expect the resources’ favoured status would hold for much longer, pointing instead towards industrial and financial stocks as the next big thing.
“China isn’t just showing enough signs of improvement,” said Brandon Sacks, a sales trader at Avior Research in Johannesburg. “The bounce in the resources is really just because they were oversold.”
South Africa’s central bank raised its benchmark rate by 50 basis points in January, in what analysts expect to be the first of several hikes this year. The increase in interest rates is expected to benefit the banking sector.
The Top-40 index added 0.75 percent to 43,055.99 and the All-share was up 0.61 percent to 47,612.81.
Gold miners Gold Fields and Harmony Gold added 4 and 1.6 percent respectively.
On the platinum side, Lonmin and Impala Platinum were up around 2 percent each.
Platinum holdings in physically backed exchange-traded funds have hit a record high after fresh inflows into funds listed in London and Johannesburg, and are set to rise further as the strike in the sector grinds on.
Naspers, the biggest domestic company listed in Johannesburg, was up 3.8 percent to 1,354.09 rand per share, extending gains so far this year to 23 percent.
Its money spinner, No. 1 Chinese internet company Tencent Holdings’ is purchasing a stake in China’s second-biggest e-commerce firm, JD.com.
Times Media Group jumped 6.6 percent to 21 rand after the newspaper publisher flagged it swung to a profit in the first half, without giving a reason for the return to profit.
Investors traded more than 176 million shares, according to early statistics by the bourse, with advancers outpacing decliners 152 to 143.