South African stocks close firmer as rand strengthens

stock market
stock market

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange closes higher for the second consecutive day, as the south Africa’s rand strengthened to R11.9 to the greenback on Wednesday, mainly driven by dollar weakness.

The all share closed 0.24 percent higher at 61,623.13 and the blue-chip top 40 gained 0.1 percent. Banks rose 0.28 percent, general retailers 1.42 percent, food and drug retailers 1.4 percent, financials 0.38 percent, industrials dropped 0.28 percent, resources added 0.95 percent, platinum 0.45 percent, and gold 3.86 percent.

Diversified miner Anglo American dropped 3.22 percent to R291.22 and Glencore 3.16 percent to R66.10. Kumba Iron Ore fell 2.21 percent to R350,1 Assore 3.36 percent to R359.48, and Exxaro 3.49 percent to R143.79.

The rand continued flirting with breaking under R12 to the U.S. dollar on Wednesday, a strength last seen in May 2015.

At 5.00 p.m. (CAT), the rand was at R11.9 to the dollar from R12.03, at R14.78 to the euro from R14.79, and at R16.99 to the pound from R16.84.

Financial stocks and other locally focused shares extended gains, thanks to the inflation figures released on Wednesday. South Africa’s consumer inflation edged up to 4.7 percent year-on-year in December from 4.6 percent in November, data from Statistics South Africa showed.

FirstRand was up 1.94 percent to record high of R70.47, Sanlam rose 2.33 percent to R92.3.

Mr Price was up 2.68 percent to R277.23 and Woolies down 1.99 percent to R65.67.17. But scandal-hit Steinhoff shed 4.08 percent to R7.52. Enditem

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