LOCAL mining stocks pushed the JSE to close at another high on Thursday amidst some positive global sentiment with all eyes on US fiscal cliff negotiations that are expected to resume later on Thursday.

Expectations are that US President Barack Obama and Congressional leaders will settle their budget differences before spending cuts and higher taxes take effect at the end of the year.

At 5pm‚ the all share index was up 0.61% to 39‚427.13 points, with platinum and gold counters adding 1.74% and 0.80% respectively.

Major European markets were also higher with the FTSE 100 seen 0.31% firmer at 4.48pm local time and the Dow Jones Industrial index trading up 0.13% higher at the same time.

"There was not much going on today but mining stocks made some gains, with Kumba up 2.5% at one stage. But from a participation point of view, we were very quiet as can be expected during the holiday season. We will probably remain in quiet territory for the next week or two as traders come back from holiday," Nilan Morar, head of trading at Global Trader in Johannesburg said.

"There is some anticipation that US political leaders will solve the fiscal cliff issue and that they will not just leave it. They can either extend the deadline to create some calm in the markets or the Democrats and the Republicans can form some united view on how to deal with the issue," he said.