Johannesburg - The JSE extended gains in midday trade on Wednesday, propped up by general mining counters as investors looked past the ratings agency Standard & Poor's outlook on US debt.
Devin Shutte, an equity trader at stockbrokerage Newstrading, said positive US corporate earnings, in particular, had helped offset the gloomy mood in global markets, he added.
Standard & Poor's cut its outlook on US government debt on Monday, rattling investors and sparking a huge sell-off.
By 12:00 local time, the JSE All Share [JSE:J203]
index was up 1.12%, with platinum miners rallying 2.17%, resources gained 1.54% and gold miners rose 1.13%. Banks picked up 1.05% and industrials were up 1.32%. Financials were relatively flat at 0.19%.
The rand was bid at 6.75 to the dollar from 6.83 at the JSE's close on Tuesday. Gold was quoted at US$1 503.45 a troy ounce from US$1 490.92/oz at the JSE's previous close, while platinum was at $1 786.50/oz, from $1 770.50/oz previously.
"The panic we saw on Monday seems to be abating, with buyers coming back into the market. The strong US and Asian corporate data have helped in lifting the negative global mood," Shutte said.
Media giant Naspers N [JSE:NPN]
was up by more than 4% at midday. Shutte said the stock had gained as a result of Tencent, one of its holdings listed in Honk Kong, finishing more than 7% higher.
Dow Jones Newswires reported that Asian markets posted solid gains on Wednesday, with technology shares buoyed by strong US earnings reports from Intel Corp and resource stocks climbing on higher commodity prices.
Economic data showing an improvement in US housing starts and Tuesday's recovery on Wall Street and in European markets also helped encourage the advance, easing worries after Standard & Poor's downgrade of its outlook on US credit ratings on Monday rattled markets.
Japan's Nikkei Stock Average climbed 1.8%, South Korea's Kospi jumped 2.2%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index added 1.6% and Taiwan's Taiex climbed 2%, with each of them snapping a losing streak that lasted at least three sessions.
European stocks rose sharply Wednesday, boosted by strength in the autos and technology sectors, as worries about sovereign debt abated following a relatively successful Spanish bond auction. London's FTSE 100 index advanced 2% to 6 014.66.