South Africa’s main stock index gained 0.5% as of 9:49 a.m. in Johannesburg, heading for a fresh record close, as mining stocks benefited from optimism over US stimulus spending that could spur an economic rebound and boost demand for metals.
The FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index resumed its advance after falling Tuesday for the first day in seven, pausing a rally that saw the gauge notch up four all-time closing highs. South African stocks have rebounded almost 70% from the low plumbed last March during the global selloff spurred by the pandemic.
Anglo American, the diversified mining giant, gained 0.5% and peer BHP Group rose 0.3% to be among the leading contributors to the overall market strength. An index of mining stocks was 0.6% higher, snapping three days of losses.
Fuel and chemicals producer Sasol rallied a further 3.7% to a seven-month high, with oil poised for the longest winning streak in almost two years. Sasol has surged 31% this month, making it Johannesburg’s top-performing stock of 2021 so far.
Naspers, the global tech investor that carries the biggest weighting in the benchmark index, advanced 1.4% to provide the biggest boost to the gauge as partly owned Chinese online giant Tencent Holdings rose in Hong Kong, helping MSCI’s index of Asia-Pacific stocks head for another record high.
Foreigners were net purchasers of R1.5-billion of South African shares Tuesday, according to figures from exchange operator, bringing net inflows over the past three days to about R6.5-billion.