Stocks hit records but platinum down

Stocks scaled to record highs on Tuesday for a second straight session.

Stocks scaled to record highs on Tuesday for a second straight session.

JOHANNESBURG - Stocks scaled to record highs on Tuesday for a second straight session but shares of platinum mining firms fell after talks to end a five-month wage strike in the sector deadlocked.

Lomin was the biggest decliner among the top-three platinum producers affected by the walk-out, falling 2.17 percent to R43.78. Anglo American Platinum lost one percent to R467.74.

"The platinum stocks are still struggling because of the impasse and continued uncertainty with the labour issues on the platinum mines," said Ferdi Heyneke, portfolio manager at Afrifocus.

The mining minister pulled out of the negotiations on Monday, deepening concerns that the strike could stretch on for months more.

The benchmark Top-40 index gained 1.31 percent to 45,730.62, after a 45,737.82 record achieved earlier. The broader All-share index ended up 1.2 percent at 50,736.42, also a record high.

"We are seeing some good buying despite the rand being weak and the concerns that South Africa could see a negative rating coming through," Heyneke said.

Fitch and Standard and Poor's are due to release their latest credit reviews on South Africa on Friday, with analysts expecting at least one downgrade after the economy contracted in the first quarter of the year, hit by the platinum strike.

Gainers included brewer SABMiller, adding 5.58 percent to R615.34, and e-commerce and media giant Naspers, which ended 4.02 percent higher at R1,243.01.