SA stocks get new year boost

South Africa’s main stocks benchmark rose at the open, in the first session since the country entered new trade pacts with African peers and the U.K., while grappling with sluggish vaccination efforts as a new Covid-19 strain continues to spread.

The FTSE/JSE Africa All-Share Index was up 0.5% as of 9:44 a.m. in Johannesburg, with 16 of 41 sector indexes in positive territory. Index heavyweight Naspers Ltd. contributed the most to gains, rising as much as 1.8% alongside Asian tech peers, while rising commodity prices boosted the country’s miners.


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Gains in iron ore and copper futures pushed BHP Group Plc and Anglo American Plc to gains of more than 1% each. Precious metal-exposed names including Gold Fields Ltd., AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. and Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. rose as spot gold jumped the most since mid-December and spot platinum reached a 2016 high.

  • South Africa’s currency rose 0.8% to 14.5465 rand against the dollar
  • The country’s banks underperformed, with Standard Bank Group Ltd. and FirstRand Ltd. declining the most by index points, down 0.6% and 0.7%, respectively
  • In percentage terms, restaurant chain operator Famous Brands Ltd. fell the most, down 7% amid doubts about the locked-down country’s path to widespread vaccination

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