Johannesburg - The JSE opened sharply firmer on Friday, as optimism over the resolution of the Greek debt crisis boosted sentiments.
The news on the austerity plan in Greece gave investors reason to search for bargains after stocks were hit hard yesterday, when the benchmark index slid 1.51%, a local trader said.
By 09:23 local time on Thursday, the JSE all-share index was up 1.08%, with resources rising 1.55%, platinum miners gaining 1% and gold miners adding 0.60%. Banks also firmed 0.37%, financials were 0.38% higher and industrials advanced 0.97%.
The rand was last bid at R6.87 to the dollar, unchanged at the JSE's close on Thursday. Gold was quoted at $1,520.70 a troy ounce from $1,518.37/oz at the JSE's previous close, while platinum was at $1,709.50/oz, from $1,690/oz previously.
A local trader said the market was tracking stronger Asian equities and US futures, but warned that there was still volatility.
Dow Jones Newswires reported that Asian stock markets were mostly higher on Friday amid further progress toward a resolution to Greece's debt crisis, while regional airline stocks rose and oil plays fell after a surprise decision by the International Energy Agency to release strategic crude oil reserves.
Japan's Nikkei Stock Average ended 0.85% higher, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index climbed 1.72%.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 44 points in screen trade.
Regional investors were encouraged by news Greece's government had agreed with the International Monetary Fund and the European Union on a five-year austerity programme, taking a further step toward resolving the nation's debt crisis. Still, demand in many markets was tempered by global growth worries.
"There's a delicate balance between fear and value in the market," said RBS Morgans investment adviser Chris MacDonald in Sydney. "Investors are mostly sidelined as they wait to see if austerity plans are passed by the Greek parliament next week."
On the JSE, Anglo American [JSE:AGL]
firmed R6.79 rand or 2.19% to R316.28, BHP Billiton [JSE:BIL]
rose R4.88 or 1.98% to R251.34 and Sasol [JSE:SOL]
gained R2.00 to R341.00.
Gold miner Harmony Gold Mining Company [JSE:HAR]
added 82 cents to R84.11.
Platinum producer Impala Platinum Holdings [JSE:IMP]
advanced R1.80 or 1.02% to R177.80 and Lonmin [JSE:LON]
found R2.95 or 1.95% to R153.99.
Diversified miner African Rainbow Minerals [JSE:ARM]
collected R2.00 or 1.10% to R184.50.
In the industrial sector, The Bidvest Group [JSE:BVT]
inched up R1.50 or 1.05% to R144.75 and Richemont [JSE:CFR]
jumped 96 cents or 2.28% to R43.01.
Telecommunications group Telkom [JSE:TKG]
lifted 40 cents or 1.15% to R35.25.
Financial services firm Old Mutual [JSE:OML]
garnered 12 cents or 1.02% to R13.80.
Retailer Pick n Pay Stores [JSE:PIK]
climbed 50 cents or 1.23% to R41.00.