JOHANNESBURG – South African stocks rebounded on Tuesday after stumbling in the previous session, led by iron ore producers Kumba and Assore, which were lifted by a spike in futures prices triggered by stockpile jitters.
Assore added 3.55 percent to 420.14 rand while Kumba Iron Ore, a unit of Anglo American, added 3.5 percent, making the pair among the biggest blue-chip gainers on the day.
Iron ore futures earlier hit six-week highs amid optimism Chinese demand will remain firm after a sustained drop in stock piles since the start of March.
E-commerce and media group Naspers in a technical rebound after falling almost 6 percent on Monday, in a slide mirroring a sell-off of Chinese Internet group Tencent Holdings , of which it owns more than a third.
Naspers added rose 2.2 percent to 1,064.34 rand. In the previous session, the stock had strayed into oversold territory, according to its 14-day RSI, a momentum indicator tracked by technical analysts.
Overall, analysts say the market may struggle to maintain uphill momentum after hitting record highs just last week, with global concerns over tensions between Russia and Ukraine seen taking the shine off riskier emerging market assets.
“We climbed to new highs as soon as the issues around Ukraine eased and now it’s back in focus and so it will be floating around these levels this week,” said Christie Viljoen of NKC Independent Economists.
“Domestically, there is mining and manufacturing numbers out this week and we know the mining numbers will be bad because of the platinum strike so no surprises for the market,” he said.
A massive strike against the world’s top platinum producers, Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin is stuck in its 11th week with no end in sight.
The benchmark Top-40 index added 0.49 percent to 43,230.33 while the wider all-share index gained 0.44 percent to 48,069.53.
Cell phone provider Vodacom was the best performer on the Top-40, scaling 3.70 percent to 138.75 rand.
Decliners outnumbered advancers 169 to 145 while around 207 million shares changed hands, according to preliminary data.