The JSE ended stronger on Wednesday, providing relief ahead of US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's semi-annual testimony to Congress.
The JSE all share index rallied 1.77%, as resources gained 1.88%, platinum miners firmed 1.99%, and gold miners added 0.38%. Banks surged 2.61%, financials climbed 2.11% and industrials increased 1.50%. Gold was quoted at $1 192.93/oz from $1,192.45/oz at the JSE's previous close, while platinum was at $1,526.00/oz from $1,504.50/oz/oz before.
Kevin Algeo, portfolio manager at Imara S P Reid, said the market had a "relief rally" today.
"The market has absorbed a lot of negative news in the past two weeks, and now there was relief," Algeo said.
He said the market was focusing on Bernanke's testimony, which could provide an indication whether the Fed is prepared to act following signs of weakness in the recovery of the US economy.
Local bank and financial stocks rose strongly on Wednesday on rate cut hopes.
A local trader said earlier there were expectations of an interest rate cut in South Africa on Thursday.
Dow Jones newswires reports that US stocks wavered on Wednesday, as lagging health-care stocks competed with enthusiasm over second-quarter earnings from financials ahead of testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.
Fluctuating between small gains and losses, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was recently up 14 points, or 0.1%, at 10244. The market has greeted the week's second-quarter reports with a mixture of emotions.
On the JSE, Anglo American plc rose R3.99 or 1.46% to R278.00, and Sasol surged R7.58 or 2.70% to R287.98.