South African stocks climb

South African stocks advanced for a second day, boosted by gold producers as demand for haven assets supported bullion prices amid the latest news on the coronavirus pandemic.

The main Johannesburg stock index was 0.4% higher as of 9:36 a.m., after climbing 1.8% in the first trading session of 2021.

While global coronavirus infections topped 85 million, South Africa’s government has drawn criticism over its vaccine rollout plan, with unions and medical groups among those to have expressed concern about the sluggishness of the state’s response amid a resurgence in cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. gained 3.1% and Gold Fields Ltd. was 3.6% higher as bullion traded near an eight-week high. Harmony Gold Mining Co. rose 3.5%. The index of local gold stocks advanced 3%, adding to Monday’s 7.7% jump, the biggest increase in more than two months.

Benchmark giants Naspers Ltd. and Richemont contributed the most to the main index’s gain on Tuesday, with the global tech investor rising 1.8% and the luxury retailer adding 0.5% after the New York Stock Exchange said it will no longer delist China’s three biggest state-owned telecommunications companies, backtracking on a plan that had threatened to escalate tensions between the world’s largest economies.

Sasol Ltd. dropped 3% as oil extended losses after OPEC+ talks were unexpectedly suspended due to a disagreement over whether to raise output in February.

Now read: The new rules for gyms and exercising under lockdown level 3 in South Africa

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South African stocks climb