South African Stocks Head for Fresh Record as Banks, Miners Rise

South African stocks rose Thursday, gaining 0.6% as of 10:55 a.m. in Johannesburg and heading for a fresh all-time record close, as miners recovered amid optimism over a global recovery and as a stronger rand boosted banks.

Johannesburg stocks joined peers in posting gains as the technology sector led a wider Asian rally after weaker-than-expected consumer price inflation data Wednesday eased concerns about the U.S. economy overheating, and helped to further stall the rising trend in bond yields.

The mood remains cautious toward high-priced growth stocks, which suffered most as yields rose, while cyclical shares continue to benefit from hopes for an economic rebound as the U.S. stimulus package goes into effect.

Locally, investor focus will be on current account data, as well as gold and mining production numbers, while manufacturing figures are due in the afternoon. Traders are also awaiting an interest rate decision from the European Central Bank later Thursday.

Index giant Naspers Ltd. extended gains for a third day, up 2.1% to provide the biggest boost to the index, as partly owned Chinese online behemoth Tencent Holdings Ltd. advanced for a third day in Hong Kong.

  • Naspers subsidiary Prosus NV, which holds the company’s 31% stake in Tencent, was also up 2.1%, the third consecutive day of gains.

Anglo American Plc halted a two-day slide, rising 1% as iron ore prices rebounded, leading the gauge for mining stocks higher for the first day in three, the sector index climbing 0.3%.

  • Glencore Plc +0.7%, Exxaro Resources Ltd. +0.3%

Gold stocks were higher on the back of gains in bullion prices, with the sector index climbing 0.9%.

  • AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. +1.3%, Gold Fields Ltd. +0.9%, Harmony Gold Mining Co. +0.6%, Pan African Resources Plc +1.1%, DRDGold Ltd. +0.7%

MTN Group Ltd. erased Wednesday’s losses, rising 2.3%, and leading the index for mobile telecommunications companies 1.1% higher.

  • NOTE: MTN Looks to Spin Off Fiber, Fintech Units to Unlock Value

Bank stocks extend gains for the sixth consecutive day, the longest winning streak in more than two years, as the rand strengthened.

Insurers gained 0.2%.

  • Sanlam Ltd. +1% as prodit rose 24% in the year to Dec. 2020
    • NOTE: Sanlam FY Adjusted EPS 4.43 Rand Vs. 3.579 Rand Y/y
  • Liberty Holdings Ltd. +0.3%
  • Peers Momentum Metropolitan Holdings -0.1%, Discovery Ltd. -0.1%, Old Mutual Ltd. -1.1%

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