South African stocks advance with boost from Naspers and miners

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South Africa’s main stock benchmark closed 0.3% higher Friday
South Africa’s main stock benchmark closed 0.3% higher Friday

South Africa’s main stock benchmark closed 0.3% higher Friday, erasing a decline of as much as 0.5%, as market giant Naspers Ltd. extended its gains and sentiment toward miners picked up during the session.

Emerging-market stocks and currencies were poised for a second week of gains amid optimism over a vaccine breakthrough and bets for more internationalist policies by the new U.S. administration.

Tech investor Naspers rose 1% to contribute the most index points to the Johannesburg benchmark’s advance, adding to Thursday’s 4% jump after partly owned Chinese internet behemoth Tencent Holdings delivered estimate-beating earnings. Prosus NV, which holds Naspers’s 31% Tencent stake, gained 0.4%.

An index of mining stocks reversed losses of as much as 0.7% to climb 1%, with Anglo American Plc’s 0.8% gain providing the biggest boost to the overall South African market. Gold producers headed higher for a second day as bullion prices rose, with Harmony Gold Mining Co. adding 2.5%.

Stocks in the US were rising as the Johannesburg session drew to a close, with better-than-estimated results from some big companies tempering concern over a surge in coronavirus cases that could lead to more stringent restrictions. Friday’s gains in the South African benchmark index pushed it 1.4% higher since Monday, for a second successive weekly gain.

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