Resources lead South African stocks higher

The market looked set to make further gains in coming sessions after government slashed fuel prices.

Generic stock exchange. Picture: stock.xchng.

JOHANNESBURG - South African shares were led higher by the mining sector on Friday and the market looked set to make further gains in coming sessions after the government slashed fuel prices.

The retail price of 95-grade petrol will drop by 93 cents or 8.3 percent a litre from next Wednesday, which traders expect to place more purchasing power in consumers' wallets.

The stimulus programme planned for the eurozone is also expected to unlock fresh money that the market sees trickling down to emerging markets such as South Africa.

"It seems that some overseas funds underweight in emerging markets are coming through and buying," said Greg Davies, an equities trader at Cratos Capital.

Johannesburg's Top-40 index ended 0.8 percent higher at 45,111 while the All-share rose 0.6 percent to 51,266.

Resource companies were the best performers as gold producers led the pack with a 2.4 percent rise.

Gold shares were boosted by spotbullion prices, which were up nearly 0.9 percent at 1534 GMT.

AngloGold Ashanti was at the top of the blue chip gainers list with a 4.7 percent increase.

The banking index ended 1.2 percent higher with lenders such as FirstRand and Nedbank adding more than 1 percent each.

Activity was robust with some 214 million shares changing hands, outpacing last year's average daily volume of 183 million shares.