(Bloomberg) -- South Africa’s main stocks benchmark rose for a second day, edging up 0.1% to its seventh record close of 2021, as investors look forward to increased economic support to battle the effects of the pandemic, spurring global appetite for riskier assets.Platinum stocks were among the leading contributors to gains as spot prices for the metal advanced to the highest since August 2016. Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. surged 4% and Anglo American Platinum Ltd. jumped 5.5% as an index for the sector rose to the highest since 2008.Gold Fields Ltd. climbed 5.1% as investors welcomed the news that former Anglo Platinum head Chris Griffith will become the bullion producer’s new chief executive officer in April, succeeding Nick Holland.“The nomination of Griffith has happened sooner than we and the market has expected and removes near-term uncertainty stemming from the expected retirement of Holland, who has led Gold Fields since 2008,” said Tyler Broda, an analyst at RBC Europe Ltd.A broad index of mining stocks climbed 0.9%, boosted by higher iron ore prices. Exxaro Resources Ltd. surged 6.4% to the highest since July 2019 to lead the gains.The outcome of the year’s first meeting of the South African Reserve Bank monetary policy committee meeting had little impact on the market after the MPC left its key rate unchanged at a record low of 3.5% as predicted by most economists.An index of banking stocks dropped 0.9%, with Capitec Bank Holdings Ltd. down 3.1%You want more news on this market? Click here for a curated First Word channel of actionable news from Bloomberg and select sources. It can be customized to your preferences by clicking into Actions on the toolbar or hitting the HELP key for assistance.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Gold held gains after surging on Wednesday as the dollar extended declines and Joe Biden was sworn in as U.S. president.European shares and U.S. equity futures continued rising as global equities climbed to a record on Thursday on optimism that more stimulus under the Biden administration will drive a post-pandemic rebound. The dollar weakened for a fourth consecutive day as investors adopted more bullish positions, taking some pressure off gold.“It’s all driven by the comments of Janet Yellen,” said Giovanni Staunovo, commodities analyst at UBS Group AG, referring to Biden’s pro-stimulus pick for Treasury secretary. That is “pushing up equities, weighing on the U.S. dollar, but also supporting inflation expectations, which is in my view the reason why gold trades again at $1,870 an ounce.”Gold’s surge Wednesday lifted it above its 50-day moving average, which could alleviate some technical pressure. Still, the precious metal remains down this year after rising Treasury yields diminished its appeal as a haven.Meanwhile holdings in gold-backed exchange-traded funds have remained largely steady this week. They were crucial to bullion’s rally to a record, and have helped mitigate falls in the price since. That could change if investors decide to trade their safe havens for risk assets.“We expect a gradual decline in holdings, which should lead gold prices somewhat lower over the course of this year,” said Carsten Menke, an analyst at Julius Baer Group Ltd.Spot gold declined 0.2% to $1,868.28 at 1:20 p.m. in London after climbing 1.7% on Wednesday. Silver was little changed at $25.8464 an ounce after ETF holdings jumped to 28,312.6 tons, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Platinum and palladium rose. A gauge for the dollar weakened 0.3%, putting it on course for the longest losing streak since Dec. 17.The European Central Bank kept its monetary policy unchanged on Thursday, reiterating that interest rates would stay low till inflation approached its target. Elsewhere, the Bank of Japan left its main policy unchanged after forecasting the economy will regain more lost growth than previously thought once it starts to recover from the current state of emergency. Federal Reserve policy makers hold their first meeting of 2021 next week.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Bitcoin's recent price slump has caused the share prices of several London-listed cryptocurrency companies to tumble in the last two weeks. The digital coin fell 10pc on Thursday to a 10-day low, falling back further from its record high earlier this month. Bitcoin dropped to below $32,000 (£23,300), having lost nearly a quarter since touching a record $42,000 on January 8. One stock, Bitcoin mining company Argo Blockchain, had soared nearly 1,000pc since the start of December to a high point of 125p on January 7. It has since dipped 40pc, falling 12pc in trading on Thursday. Online Blockchain PLC, UK-listed company that was founded in 1996 but swapped its business to cryptocurrency in 2017, saw its share price surge 200pc since the end of December to January 7, although it has since pulled back more than 50pc. Mode, the cryptocurrency app start-up backed by Jonathan Rowland, saw its shares surge 50pc from the end of December in the first week of January before correcting. In the US, Bitcoin mining company Riot Blockchain also came skidding to a halt. The cryptocurrency company, which uses powerful processors to do the number-crunching calculations to mine digital coins, had seen its market cap surge to $1.5bn, but it lost more than 11pc yesterday. Peter Wall, chief executive of Argo Blockchain, said crytocurrency buyers needed a “strong stomach” when investing. Argo buys up Chinese-made mining “rigs”, graphics processing machines that are used to perform number crunching calculations needed to mint more Bitcoin.