News Column

Local stocks cap the week with another record close

February 24, 2014

The benchmark Top40 index finished up 0.69 percent at 42 952.99, its highest close on record. The broader all share ended up 0.64 percent at 47 452.24. Local stocks have had a record run since last year, helped in part by the crumbling rand.

Mining firms and other exporters have benefited from the rand's fall to a five-year low in recent weeks, a trend that some analysts see continuing.

"The South African rand has been hit hard," Capital Economics said in a note to clients. "Looking ahead, a combination of domestic concerns and moves towards less accommodative global monetary conditions suggests that currencies are likely to come under further pressure over the coming months."

Aspen Pharmacare rose 2.23 percent to R259 after it said first-half profit probably saw a double-digit increase.

Mining companies, which benefit from the weaker rand because they sell metal for dollars, also rose.

AngloGold Ashanti was up 1.99 percent to R195.72

The rand turned firmer against the dollar in afternoon trade on Friday as global risk aversion eased, giving respite to emerging markets that took the local currency towards R10.90 resistance.

At 5pm on Friday, the rand was bid at R10.9426 to the dollar, 10.4c firmer than at the same time on Thursday.

Dealers said trade was less choppy than in previous sessions on Friday as the political crisis in Ukraine came to some resolution, which lifted emerging market assets.

"While emerging market specific factors offer the rand momentum today, it is still the external backdrop that drives the dollar/rand in the bigger picture, so longs are getting cut ahead of the weekend," 4Cast emerging market strategist Anisha Arora said.

Pretoria News

For more stories on investments and markets, please see HispanicBusiness' Finance Channel

Source: Pretoria News (South Africa)

Story Tools