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Stocks rise, retailer Clicks touches all-time high

Kumba Iron Ore also among the top performers.

South African stocks advanced for a third straight session on Wednesday, with health and beauty retailer Clicks Group hitting a record high powered by higher sales over Christmas.

The Clicks Group, which includes Body Shop and music store Musica, said in a trading update that sales for the 20 weeks to January 2015 rose 14 percent to 8.2 billion rand ($713 million).

Shares in Clicks closed 5.39 percent higher at 91.89 rand after earlier rising to a record 93.74 rand.

“Some of the other retailers are really battling but Clicks has obviously cut costs. This trading update looks very promising for them,” said Greg Davies, a trader at Cratos Capital.

The benchmark Top-40 index added 1.06 percent to 45,002 points, while the broader All-Share index gained 0.97 percent to 51,200 points.

Kumba Iron Ore was also among the top performers, rising 3.64 percent as iron ore prices recovered on Wednesday after tumbling a 5-1/2 year low on Tuesday.

Kumba’s shares closed at 222.20 rand after Africa’s largest iron ore producer said production had increased to 12.4 million tonnes for the quarter to the end of December, while export sales increased by 23 percent to 11.7 million tonnes.

Turnover stood at 201 million shares, higher than last year’s daily average of 183 million shares.

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