SA stocks halt slide as strong rand lifts banks

South Africa’s main stock index halts a two-day slide, rises 0.5% by 9:53 a.m. in Johannesburg as gold stocks drive miners higher, and a stronger rand lifts banks.

Equity markets are climbing Thursday as signs of potential progress toward fresh US fiscal stimulus boost appetite for riskier assets. The MSCI Emerging Market Index is 0.4% higher. The South African benchmark dropped 0.2% in the third quarter, lagging behind an 8.7% gain in emerging-market peers. It fell 2.2% in September, sliding for a second month.


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Diversified miners BHP and Anglo American join gold producers in boosting gauge for mining stocks, with index climbing 1%.

BHP +0.9%, Anglo American +0.8%, Gold Fields +1.6%, AngloGold Ashanti +1.6%, Sibanye Stillwater +1.5%, Impala Platinum +1.1%, Harmony Gold +1.3%, Anglo American Platinum +0.5%, Northam Platinum +0.4%, African Rainbow Minerals +0.8%.

Index for banks stocks extends gains for a fourth day, tracking the strengthening rand.

FirstRand +1.6%, Standard Bank +2.1%, Absa +2%, Nedbank +1.8%, Capitec +0.4%, Investec Plc +1.2%.

The rand is 0.6% stronger against the dollar as of 10:02 a.m., rising for a fourth day.

MTN Group lifts the mobile telecommunications index up 1.4%, as South Africa plans to auction off more than R8 billion ($483 million) of high-speed internet spectrum following years of delays.

MTN +2.6%, Blue Label Telecoms Ltd. +0.6%.

Sasol halts a two-day slide and is up +5.2%.

Nampak surges a further 27%, adding to Wednesday’s record 45% jump, after the packaging company said it had reduced gross net debt.

Foreigners remained net sellers of South African stocks for a ninth day Wednesday, disposing of R1.51 billion worth of shares, according to exchange operator JSE Ltd.

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