The JSE looked set to end June with a strong performance on Friday‚ amid risk-on trade on global markets.
Local banks led the gains on a retreating dollar‚ with the greenback under pressure after US GDP for the first quarter was revised downwards on Thursday.
Signs of agreement on migration between European leaders during a marathon dinner overnight also helped lift sentiment‚ analysts said‚ with the euro posting strong gains against the dollar.
Market heavyweight Naspers and local miners were also firmly higher in the morning session.
Local focus is on May’s trade balance figures‚ due at 2pm on Friday.
An economic consensus forecast compiled by Trading Economics is that SA’s surplus will widen to about R6bn from April’s R1.14bn.
After a few disappointing numbers‚ a positive trade balance could help the rand firm a little‚ with the local currency a little overstretched recently‚ said TreasuryOne senior currency dealer Andre Botha.
At 9:33am the all share was up 1.9% to 56 854 points and the top-40 was up 2.03%. Banks had gained 3.1%‚ platinums 2.55% and general retailers 2.54%.
Diversified miner BHP added 2.26% to R311.54 and Anglo American 2.13% to R302.20.
FirstRand was up 4.46% to R62.99 and Barclays Africa 3.65% to R157.40.
Mr Price rose 3.21% to R223.15 and Truworths 2.87% to R77.67.
Woolworths gained 2.5% to R223.15 after saying on Thursday it was axing more senior management jobs at its loss-making Australian clothing division David Jones.
Pick n Pay added 3.02% to R76.16.
Naspers gained 3.21% to R3 376.95.
Gold was up 0.22% at $1 250.89/oz and platinum 0.32% to $852.94/oz.
Brent crude gained 0.33% to $77.66 a barrel.
European markets were higher‚ with the CAC-40 up 1.37%‚ the DAX-30 1.22% and the FTSE-100 0.94%.