JSE.  Picture: MICHAEL BRATT
Picture: MICHAEL BRATT

RELATIVELY buoyant demand for industrial and mining shares lifted the JSE to a fresh record high on Thursday, with a weaker rand still providing impetus in addition to the upbeat China manufacturing data.

At 12.28pm, the All-Share index was up 0.73% to 40,479.64 points, with the top 40 index gaining 0.81% to 36,029.86, another record.

"Rand weakness continues to dominate the theme even though the long-term picture for South Africa looks a bit murky against the backdrop of labour tensions," said Devin Shutte, a trader at stockbrokerage, Newstrading.

The rand weakened to as much as 9.0855 to the US dollar during the morning session, boosting most rand hedged stocks, before recovering slightly by midday to R9.0324.

The all-share is now up over 3% in the year to date after a few sessions of consolidation.

Elsewhere, leading European shares were modestly higher at noon, with UK’s FTSE 100 edging up 0.23%.

HSBC’s preliminary Chinese purchasing managers index for January grew to a 24-month high of 51.9 from a final reading of 51.5 in December, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

Among individual stocks on the JSE, Anglo American Platinum lifted 1.23% to 440.22 and African Rainbow Minerals was up 1.19% to R200.30.

Among industrial stocks, SABMiller gained 1.70% to R433.65, Bidvest picked up 1.59% to R217.89, Barloworld garnered 2.40% to R91.39 and Richemont was up 1.02% to R73.18.

Old Mutual gained 1.45% to R26.63.