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Foreigners fuel stocks to a second straight all-time high

Foreigners fuel stocks to a second straight all-time high < News < Bet On Markets

Johannesburg — Stocks chalked up a second consecutive all-time high yesterday as hopes of a weaker rand spurred some resource stocks, while Absa jumped on signs a takeover by Barclays might be a whisker away.

The FTSE/JSE Top40 index closed up 0.24 percent at 11 401.02 points while the all share index tacked on 0.24 percent to 12 608 points, although traders noted volumes were slimmer than in previous sessions.

The benchmark index has gained almost 20 percent since the start of the year, making it one of the best performing stock markets in the world, as stellar economic growth and booming consumer confidence draw foreign investors.

«We are still flavour of the month,» said one dealer who declined to be named. «Offshore buying is still strong.»

Absa gained 2.27 percent to R72 after Barclays filed an application with the banking regulator to buy a majority stake in its South Africa peer, stoking hopes the planned deal was nearing completion.

Standard Bank slipped 2.83 percent to R60, virtually erasing gains of some 3 percent made so far this week.

Edcon, which has more than doubled in value so far this year, slipped 3.97 percent to R28.50, while Pick ’n Pay fell 2.13 percent to R23.

«It looks like the high flyers in that stable might have peaked, probably because people are now betting there might not be an interest rate cut in December,» said Bernie Montgomery at Imara SP Reid.

Bourse heavyweight Anglo American edged up 0.5 percent to R141 while takeover target Gold Fields added 0.49 percent to R82.15 and predator Harmony nudged up 0.16 percent to R61.60. Platinum miner Impala Platinum gained 2.38 percent to R517.

Cellular giant MTN gained 4.38 percent to R41.75.

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