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Miners lead stocks higher

Jan 18 2013 17:59 Reuters
Rand notes

(Picture: Shutterstock )

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Johannesburg - Stocks ended the week with modest gains on Friday with miners adding the most points to the key index after an upbeat growth data in China, the world's biggest commodity consumer.

But retailers restricted the upside momentum with clothing chain Mr Price falling for the ninth consecutive session on growing concerns that the sector's valuation is not justified by its earnings or outlook.

The benchmark Top 40 - (Tradeable) [JSE:J200] rose 0.45% to 35 723.78 and the broader All Share [JSE:J203] index picked up 0.51% to 40 166.53.

"We had some quite positive numbers about China's GDP this morning that helped us sustain the momentum," Oliver Russell, a dealer at Global Trader.

"But there's still a lot of nervousness around the retail sector following Mr Price's quarterly sales figures yesterday, which spilled over t day."

Mr Price, whose 10% quarterly sales growth failed to excite investors on Thursday, fell 1.03% to R120, bringing losses so far this year to more than 14%.

Retailers have been the darlings of investors for more than a year in a rally that many analysts say has pushed the sector to levels from which they can only disappoint.

Shoprite, Africa's top grocer and whose sales update this week also failed to impress, dropped 1.62% to R183.

But faster-than-expected 7.9% growth in China's economy in the fourth quarter of 2012 boosted miners and helped the exchange eke out gains.

Mining giant Anglo American gained 1.6% to R269, Gold Fields added 2.5% to R107.96 and AngloGold Ashanti was 1.6% firmer at R259.52.

There were 173 companies that gained in the session and another 112 fell with 60 unchanged, as over 168 million shares changed hands.

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