South African stocks headed for a record close as industrial metals producers led gains, while gold miners climbed thanks to haven demand for bullion and bank shares hit the highest since July 2019.
The benchmark FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index rose 0.9% to 76,368 as of 15h12 in Johannesburg. Mining giants BHP Group and Anglo American were the biggest drivers of the advance. Gold Fields and AngloGold Ashanti boosted the precious-metals sector, while FirstRand outpaced fellow lenders.
“Hopes of improved economic growth stabilization in China as they continue to ease monetary policy is benefiting miners,” said Peter Takaendesa, head of equities at Mergence Investment Managers in Cape Town.
“Banks initially lagged the recovery from Covid, but are now catching up and expectations of gradual interest rate hikes by the South African Reserve Bank are supportive of the sector’s profitability,” he said.
Gains for miners and banks are helping South African stocks to outperform their emerging-market peers early in 2022, building on their strongest year since 2009.