SA stocks set record as news of Chris Griffith's CEO appointment boosts Gold Fields

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A general view of Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) precinct. 
Photo: Gallo Images/Sydney Seshibedi
A general view of Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) precinct. Photo: Gallo Images/Sydney Seshibedi

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange benchmark rose for a second day on Thursday, edging up 0.1% to its seventh record close of 2021, as investors look forward to increased economic support to battle the effects of the pandemic, spurring global appetite for riskier assets.

Platinum stocks were among the leading contributors to gains as spot prices for the metal advanced to the highest since August 2016. Impala Platinum [JSE:IMP] surged 4% and Anglo American Platinum [JSE:AMS] jumped 5.5% as an index for the sector rose to the highest since 2008.

Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] climbed 5.1% as investors welcomed the news that former Anglo Platinum head Chris Griffith will become the bullion producer’s new chief executive officer in April, succeeding Nick Holland.

"The nomination of Griffith has happened sooner than we and the market has expected and removes near-term uncertainty stemming from the expected retirement of Holland, who has led Gold Fields since 2008," said Tyler Broda, an analyst at RBC Europe.

A broad index of mining stocks climbed 0.9%, boosted by higher iron ore prices. Exxaro Resources [JSE:EXX] surged 6.4% to the highest since July 2019 to lead the gains.

The outcome of the year’s first meeting of the South African Reserve Bank monetary policy committee meeting had little impact on the market after the MPC left its key rate unchanged at a record low of 3.5% as predicted by most economists.

An index of banking stocks dropped 0.9%, with Capitec Bank [JSE:CPI] down 3.1%.

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