South Africa’s main stock benchmark index erased losses of as much as 0.4% to edge 0.2% higher by 9:57 a.m. in Johannesburg, as gains in shares upgraded by analysts and a recovery in gold and platinum companies countered weakness in index giants Richemont and Naspers.
A rally in global equities triggered by the formal start of President-elect Joe Biden’s transition to power cooled Wednesday, with investors weighing optimism spurred by vaccine and political developments against a still challenging economic outlook amid the pandemic. An index of emerging-market stocks was 0.4% lower.
Bidvest, up 3.3%, and Tiger Brands, which gained 4.5%, were among stocks providing the strongest support to the Johannesburg benchmark index following upgrades by analysts to their recommendations on the companies.
Sasol advanced for a third day, up 2.5% to the highest intraday level in more than seven weeks, as crude oil prices climbed.
Gauge of mining stocks extended gains for a fourth day, rising 0.3%. BHP +0.7%, Glencore +1.2%.
Sub-index of gold stocks rose for the first day in three, up 0.3% as a weaker rand countered falling bullion prices. Gold Fields +0.2%, Harmony Gold +0.5%, DRDGold +0.3%.
Sub-index of platinum companies up 0.5%. Sibanye Stillwater +1%, Northam Platinum +0.5%, Anglo American Platinum +0.1%.
Richemont declined for the first day in three, down 0.8% to provide biggest drag on the index.
Naspers, with a 19% weighting in the benchmark, retreated for a second day, down 0.1% as partly owned Tencent declined in Hong Kong.
Naspers subsidiary Prosus NV, which holds the company’s 31% stake in Tencent, declines 0.8%.
Index of bank stocks halted a two-day rally, falling 0.4% as the rand weakened. Capitec Bank-2.3%, Standard Bank -0.7%, Absa -0.9%, Nedbank -1.3%.
Insurers -0.2%. Discovery -0.5%, Sanlam -0.2%, Momentum Metropolitan Holdings -0.9%.
Foreigners remained net sellers of South African stocks for a seventh consecutive day Tuesday, disposing of R239 million worth of shares, according to exchange operator JSE Ltd.