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South African stocks rise as vaccine news boosts risk appetite

South Africa’s main stock index gains for a second day, rising in Johannesburg, as reports that a Covid-19 vaccine may be available earlier than expected drives risk appetite higher.

The biggest listed companies, Naspers Ltd., Richemont, and Anglo American Plc, led gains, with the market shaking off declines in more than half of the 150 listed companies, including from gold miners and Old Mutual Ltd.

Sentiment got a boost from data showing U.S. manufacturing expanded last month at the fastest pace since 2018 and Chinese factory data signaling rising global demand for exports, a sign the world economy is recovering from the pandemic.

Also read: South Africa may be first in region to produce covid-19 vaccine

  • Naspers, with a 20% weighting in the index, as well as its subsidiary, Prosus NV, advanced Wednesday, rising 1.7% and 1.6% to propel index higher. The gains were driven by advances in tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd, which climbed 1.5%.
    Naspers holds a 31% stake in Tencent through Prosus.
  • Rand-hedge Richemont, which has an 8% weighting in the index, advanced 1.9% as the currency came under pressure from a rebounding dollar.
  • Shoprite Holdings Ltd. helps drive gauge for food and drug retailers rises for a second day, up 2.3%
    Shoprite +4.8%, biggest jump in more than three weeks, after being upgraded to buy by HSBC
    NOTE: Shoprite Raised to Buy at HSBC; PT 140 rand
  • Bid Corp Ltd. +1.5%, Clicks Group Ltd. +2.1%, Pick n Pay Stores Ltd. +3.5%, Spar Group Ltd. +1.5%, Dis-Chem Pharmacies Ltd. +0.3%
  • Miners halt a three-day rally, fall 0.3% as weakness in BHP Group Plc and gold producers overwhelm gains from iron ore producers

Anglo American, Exxaro resources Ltd. and Glencore Plc

  • Anglo American +0.9%, Glencore +1.8%, Exxaro +1.2%, African rainbow Minerals Ltd. 0.6%, as iron ore prices rise.
  • BHP -1.1% as coal workers in Colombia strike over wages.
    Sub-index for gold miners drops for a secon day, down 1.3%, as dollar strength, and signs of recovery in some economies damped demand for safe-haven assets
  • Gold Fields Ltd. -1.7%, AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. -1%, Harmony Gold Mining Co. Ltd. -1.3%, DRDGold Ltd. -2.7%, Pan African Resources Plc -1.9%
  • Old Mutual drives insurers down 1.1%
    Old Mutual -3%, after company removed from STOXX600
  • Sanlam Ltd. -0.5%, Discovery Ltd. -0.5%, Liberty Holdings Ltd. -0.4%
  • Index for banks stocks retreats 1% as the rand drops
  • FirstRand Ltd. -1.3%, Standard Bank Group Ltd. -1.3%, Nedbank Group Ltd. -1.1%, Absa Group Ltd. -0.4%, Investec Plc -0.9%

Foreigners remained net sellers of South African stocks for a third day Tuesday, disposing 1.6 billion rand worth of shares, according to bourse operator, JSE Ltd.

Source: Bloomberg

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