Johannesburg - South African stocks ended
firmer on Thursday as investors took solace in improved global
sentiment but gold shares refused to be consoled, choosing
instead to follow spot prices lower.
The JSE Top 40 - (Tradeable) [JSE:J200] blue chip index closed up 0.91% at 29 947.48 and the broader All Share [JSE:J203] index
gained 0.90% to 33 904.86.
Africa's largest gold producer AngloGold Ashanti
was knocked 5% to R303.50 while Gold Fields
fell 5.5% to R110.57.
Harmony Gold Mining, South Africa's third-largest
producer of the precious yellow metal, closed almost 4%
lower at R85.60. Johannesburg's gold index, which
has fallen nearly 14% this year to date, shed 4%.
"Much of the mark down is contributed to rand strength and
gold weakness," said Global Trader's Mark Wilkes.
The rand has firmed this week over 3% against the
US dollar while spot gold was last bid at $1 588 after opening
at $1 620. The combination is bad for domestic gold miners
because it pushes bullion's price lower in rand terms.
Spot gold prices slid after the Federal Reserve
offered few hints on the likely course of US monetary policy.
This boosted the dollar and offset the lift to bullion from a
Chinese rate cut.
Investment banks including Investec and RMB
Holdings topped the gainers on the JSE Top-40 blue chip
index. Investec jumped 4% to R45.25 while RMB
Holdings added more than 3% to close at R34.59.
Advancers outnumbered decliners 179 to 112 and 63 stocks
A total of 236 million shares changed hands, according to
preliminary data from the exchange, just below a 200-day moving
average of about 250 million shares.