JOHANNESBURG – South African stocks rose for the second consecutive day on Wednesday as investors scooped up shares in blue-chip heavy-weight Kumba Iron Ore as the price of the commodity steadied.
Kumba closed 4.6 percent higher at 145.50 rand, after its shares had fallen by more than 60 percent since April last year due to weaker demand for the steel-making ingredient.
Chinese rebar futures steadied, snapping five straight sessions of losses, but weak demand and ample supply in the world’s top steel consumer is expected to continue weighing on prices.
“Any hint of iron ore recovery will have a positive effect on the stock after it was severely punished and was down in previous sessions,” said Rabi Thithi, a trader Avior Capital.
The benchmark JSE Top-40 index rose 0.46 percent to 46,630 and the All-share index, the broadest measure of the South African stock market, was up 0.40 percent to 52,806.
Africa’s biggest grocer Shoprite was also among the best performers on the Johannesburg bourse climbing over 2.8 percent to end at 167.50 rand.
AngloGold Ashanti, Africa’s top bullion producer bucked the trend dropping 2.2 percent to end 116.35 rand.
Trading was modest with about 178 million shares traded compared to last year’s daily average of 183 million shares, according to preliminary bourse data.