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SA stocks up on commodity prices but Richemont hammered

Shares rose more than 1 percent as mining companies were lifted by higher metal prices.

FILE: Trade was robust with 233 million shares changing hands, well above last year's daily average of 183 million. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - South African shares rose more than 1 percent on Thursday as mining companies such as Impala Platinum were lifted by higher metal prices after Switzerland shocked markets and scrapped a three-year cap on the franc currency.

The move sent the franc soaring and investors scurrying into safe-haven assets such as gold. Other metal prices followed suit, helping lift Johannesburg's resource-heavy bourse.

"We saw from everything from copper and gold to platinum moving," said Kyle Dutton, a broker at Mercato Financial Services in Johannesburg. That helped lift shares of mining companies, he added.

But Johannesburg-listed shares of Swiss luxury firm Richemont slid as investors worried the stronger franc would drive up the cost of its exports.

Richemont, which has its roots in South Africa and is chaired by South African businessman Johann Rupert, tumbled 4.3 percent to 95.91 rand.

The benchmark Top-40 index rose 1.2 percent to 42,534. The broader All-Share rose 1 percent to 48,524.

Gold gained more than 2 percent to its highest in four months, and platinum also advanced.

Gold producer AngloGold Ashanti rose 5.8 percent to 127 rand, while platinum mining house Impala gained 4.2 percent to 73.35 rand.

Trade was robust with 233 million shares changing hands, well above last year's daily average of 183 million.