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(Updates with closing prices)
JOHANNESBURG, Jan 3 (Reuters) - South African stocks kicked off 2017 in positive territory as a platinum rally spurred producers of the precious metal, while dollar strength knocked the volatile rand into the red.
The benchmark Top-40 index gained 0.8 percent on Tuesday, the first day of trade after the long New Year weekend, to reach 44,261.26. The benchmark All-share index ended the day 0.7 percent higher at 51,020.66.
Platinum producers Lonmin and Northam were the biggest gainers, shooting up 16 percent and 7.7 percent respectively. The world's top producer Anglo American Platinum rose 4.7 percent.
Spot platinum was up almost 4.6 percent at $941.30 an ounce, mirroring surges in other commodities such as oil after the release of upbeat Chinese data.
But the strong dollar had the rand on the backfoot, with the currency 0.60 percent softer at 13.8025/dlr.
Government bonds were weaker, and the yield for the benchmark instrument due in 2026 was 0.45 basis points higher at 8.97 percent. (Reporting by Ed Stoddard; Editing by Susan Fenton)