It's the silly season, and the optimists are obviously out in full bloom.
The JSE all share index set a record high yesterday - for the second day running. The run up was led by interest rate-sensitive shares, such as Standard Bank and FirstRand, after favourable producer price data made further interest rate rises less likely.

Shortly after the news was released by Statistics SA, Standard Bank rose 3.1 percent to R93.98, FirstRand jumped 3.1 percent to R22.18 and Nedbank rose 3.3 percent to R134.65.

The rises were fuelled by hopes of an end to a series of interest rates increases that has lifted the Reserve Bank's official repo rate a total of 2 percentage points to 9 percent since June.

The all share index closed at an intraday high of 24 825 points from Wednesday's close of 24 447. It touched a high of 24 452 on Wednesday.

Jaco Scholtz of Gryphon Asset Management in Cape Town said another factor buoying the market was that investors bought shares during the expiration of quarterly futures contracts. Investors may trade in underlying shares when the futures and options they hold expire.

Yesterday's move took the growth of the all share index to more than 33 percent this year, after growth of 43 percent in 2005. Investors predict that growth next year will be more pedestrian, though equities should continue to outperform bonds and cash.
full story from Business Report here