At a time of losses for most of the world’s equities, South Africa’s long-suffering gold stocks are making a comeback.

The FTSE/JSE Africa Gold Mining Index rallied 20 percent this year, the best start since 1995. Investors are speculating the weakening rand will boost profits for bullion producers, which make money in dollars and pay costs in rand. It’s a small turnaround for an industry that’s struggled for the past four years as tumbling gold prices combined with higher costs, labor unrest and aging mines.

Harmony Gold Mining Co. rallied 13 percent on Thursday as the rand touched a record low. The company, which gets 95 percent of its gold from South Africa, has soared 170 percent since Dec. 1.

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