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JSE advances in volatile trade, Sanlam shines

Mar 08 2015 11:41

Johannesburg - Stocks on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange rose slightly on Friday in volatile trade after better-than-expected US jobs data, with insurer Sanlam advancing 3.5% after saying it plans to expand with acquisitions worth over R2bn.

Shares in South Africa's biggest insurer by value ended at R75.56, a day after its Chief Executive Officer Johan van Zyl told the Reuters Africa Investment Summit that Sanlam would expand in Africa and other emerging markets.

READ: Sanlam readying for R2bn Africa acquisitions

Solid US job numbers strengthened the case for the Federal Reserve to hike interest rates, sending the rand to 13-year lows as emerging markets were heavily sold off.

"Despite the stronger close, the US non-farm payrolls beat estimates and resulted in the strengthening of the dollar and caused the rand to trade below the R12 mark," said Bernhard Grobler, the head of Investec stock broking.

"This was coupled with continued pressure on resource stocks, on the back of weaker iron-ore, platinum and gold prices," he said.

READ: Rand falls to 13-year low after US jobs data

Falling global commodity prices saw Africa's biggest bullion producer AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG] close 3.75% lower, making it the biggest decliner on the Top-40.

Kumba Iron Ore [JSE:KIO], a subsidiary of Anglo American [JSE:AGL] shed 2.9% to R203, as the steel-making ingredient fell below $60 a tonne.

The benchmark Top-40 index gained 0.28% to 47 236 points and the broader All-share index up 0.12% at 53 347.

equities  |  jse  |  markets
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