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#RandReport: Amplats lead shares higher, rand stumbles

The rand was floored after local business confidence fell to a 16-year low.

The rand fell as much as 15 percent against the dollar. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - AngloGold Ashanti and Gold Fields led South African stocks higher on Thursday after Barclays said falls in their share price made them attractive, while the rand was floored after local business confidence fell to a 16-year low.

Gold Fields rose 8,4 percent to 40,40 rand while AngloGold added 7,2 percent to 107,34 rand after Barclays said in a note that the recent pull back in their share prices "create attractive entry points into stocks with positive risk-reward profiles."

For AngloGold, Barclays noted that "its international portfolio operates at $869/oz and there is the potential for the stock to generate meaningful free cashflow from 2016," while it said Gold Fields' "international portfolio is undervalued."

Spot gold is currently trading around $1,127 an ounce.

World number one platinum producer Anglo American Platinum shot up nine percent to 351 rand after it and Sibanye Gold both confirmed they were still in talks about the sale of Amplats' Rustenburg operations.

The benchmark Top-40 index closed 2,6 percent higher at 44,838 while the wider All-share index added 2,4 percent to 50,411. It was the market's second straight day of gains.

Not all South African asset classes were in favour.

The rand fell as much as 15 percent against the dollar, one of the weakest performances in a basket of 25 emerging market currencies, after a survey showed business confidence fell.

The rand touched a session trough of 13,6435 to the dollar, its softest since sliding to an all-time low of 14,0000 on 24 Aug, according to Thomson Reuters data.

By 1518 GMT it was trading 0,86 percent softer at 13,5550 compared with Wednesday's close.

Traders and analysts said a local report showing business confidence in Africa's most advanced economy fell in August, had added to investors' general skittishness towards emerging markets amid signs of slowing growth in China.

An uncertain local economic policy climate and worries about lacklustre domestic growth had helped pull the business confidence index 4 points lower last month, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) said.

"It was basically the release of the SACCI data that was the driver for the rand," said Ricardo Da Camara, a market analyst at ETM.

Government bonds were also bid lower on the day, with the yield on benchmark paper maturing in 2026 adding 1,5 basis points to 8,48 percent.