Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

The JSE reached a record high on Tuesday, taking its lead from gains in most world markets.

The all share was up 1.09% to record 61,157.80 points at lunchtime, stretching its gains to a hefty 20% since mid-June.

"It’s hard to believe we are here now but we did have an extended period of almost three years where we didn’t go anywhere," said Craig Pheiffer, chief investment strategist at Absa Stockbrokers and Portfolio Management

Big diversified miners were well supported after a few days of apparent consolidation, complementing the industrial index, which hit a record high thanks to Naspers, whose market value has now doubled since the start of the year.

The rand was also relatively weaker against major currencies, a move that counted in favour of rand-hedge stocks, but took the shine off retailers.

Banks and insurance stocks held their ground, as Moody’s and S&P Global Ratings prepared to announce results of their latest reviews on SA’s debt rating on Friday evening.

Investors were also focused on local corporate earnings, which are the fundamental drivers of share prices.

Europe’s leading markets were positive at midday, after an equally decent session in Asia, where Hong Kong’s Hang Seng ended 1.91% higher.

Naspers was up 2.8% to a record R4,106.98, giving Africa’s biggest company a market value of about R1.8-trillion.

British American Tobacco gained 1.66% to R939.31 and Barloworld 2.11% to R135.81.

BHP added 1.84% to R255.62, Anglo American 1.76% to R271.50, and Sasol 2.44% to R429.37. Sappi leapt 4.31% to R102.38, its best level since May.

Kumba Iron Ore jumped 4.08% to R312.35, Exxaro 4.51% to R154.18, and African Rainbow Minerals 7.81% to R125.44. All of these companies benefited from a pick-up in iron ore prices.

Harmony Gold rose 2.94% to R24.90 and Impala Platinum 5.23% to R39.02.

In the retail sector, Truworths dropped 3.5% to R73.31 and Massmart 2% to R109.

Murray & Roberts slumped 6% to R13.33, while Aveng gained 4.88% to R2.58.

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