South African shares crept up on Monday, led by resources stocks as investors bet China would come up with measures to boost the world’s largest consumer of commodities following weak manufacturing data.
China’s factories suffered their fastest drop in activity in a year in April, as demand faltered and deflationary pressures persisted.
South African bourse heavyweights Anglo American and rival BHP Billiton climbed 3 per cent to 138.89 rand and 3.6 per cent to 295 rand respectively.
“Resources are clearly having a good day on stimulus hopes from China after disappointing PMI,” said Rabi Thithi, a trader at Avior Research.
The blue chip Top-40 index rose 0.5 percent to 48,443 and the broader All-Share index was up 0.4 percent to 54,639.
Kumba Iron Ore was up 4.3 per cent to 167 rand, after top Brazilian miner Vale said output could be cut by as much as 30 million tonnes.
Metmar leapt 12.4 percent to 1 rand, after Luxembourg-based metals trader Traxys Group offered 294 million rand ($24 million) for the company.
Astral Foods was up 2.9 percent to 185.90 rand after the poultry producer said it expected first-half profit to more than double.
On the flipside, Sibanye Gold plunged 11.2 per cent to 25 rand after Africa’s No.3 gold producer said its first-quarter bullion output was down by 5 percent.
Trading volume in the market as a whole was below average, with 166 million shares changing hands compared with last year’s daily average of 183 million.