South African Stock Index Rises to Record as Metals Surge

South African Stock Index Rises to Record as Commodities Surge
Anglo American Plc, a diversified miner that makes up about 9 percent of the gauge, surged 5 percent to a two-month high. Photographer: Nadine Hutton/Bloomberg

Jan. 2 (Bloomberg) -- South Africa’s benchmark stock index rose to a record as commodity prices surged after U.S. lawmakers passed a bill that averted spending cuts and tax increases threatening the world’s biggest economy.

The FTSE/JSE Africa All-Share Index climbed 2.1 percent to 40,0061.75 at the close in Johannesburg, rising above 40,000 for the first time on record. The measure advanced 23 percent last year. Anglo American Plc, a diversified miner that makes up about 9 percent of the gauge, surged 6.9 percent to a six-month high. BHP Billiton Ltd. advanced 5 percent.

Copper and nickel led a rally in metal prices after the House of Representatives voted in favor of the Senate’s budget legislation. Republican lawmakers abandoned efforts to add spending cuts to the bill, removing one impediment to a recovery in the U.S. economy. Gold climbed to a two-week high while platinum rose for a third day.

“Equity markets have taken a bullish tone” following the budget pact, Quinten Bertenshaw, an analyst at ETM Analytics in Johannesburg, and colleagues wrote in e-mailed comments. The deal could boost demand for commodities and equities, they said.

AngloGold Ashanti Ltd., South Africa’s biggest gold producer, rose 3 percent. Anglo American Platinum Corp. Ltd., the biggest producer of the metal, advanced 3.5 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Brand in Cape Town at rbrand9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Vernon Wessels at vwessels@bloomberg.net