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Gold stocks tumble

Commodities
Durban - Gold stocks fell further on the JSE on Tuesday, despite Sibanye’s announcement that its planned $2.2 billion (R28.56 billion) takeover of Colorado-based Stillwater Mining had received a boost from shareholders.

AngloGold Ashanti led the rout, falling 3.14 percent to R152.62, followed by Harmony Gold which slid 3.45 percent to R8.80 and Sibanye at 2.23 percent to R26.88.

Goldfields also retreated 2.23 percent to R46.40.

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24 karat gold bars are seen at the United States West Point Mint facility in West Point, New York

Since last week, gold shares have fallen between 11.25 and 18.25 percent.

Analysts said the prices fell as markets grew less concerned that far-right leader Marine Le Pen would win the French presidential election, increasing investor appetite for risky assets such as stocks while denting bullion.

Business-friendly centrist Emmanuel Macron won the first round of the French vote on Sunday and opinion polls indicated less support for Le Pen.

The news had sent bullion prices to their lowest since April 11 in the previous session, at $1 265.90 (R16 433.90).

“We’ve moved from having multiple numbers of positive drivers for gold last week when yields were on the defensive and we had multiple geopolitical risks,” said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank.

“But now with the French election (first round) behind us, there is a bit of a surge of risk-on coming back to the market. The main worry was a strong performance by Le Pen.”

Read also: Sibanye gets shareholder OK for R30bn deal

Gold is often seen as an alternative investment during times of political and financial uncertainty. Silver dipped 0.3 percent to $17.83 an ounce, after touching a one-month low of $17.65 in the previous session. Platinum inched down 0.4 percent to $955 an ounce, after falling more than 1 percent in the prior session. Palladium lost 0.4 percent at $793 an ounce.

BayHill Capital equities trader Jordan Weir blamed international political developments for the slump in the gold price.

“At the moment, geopolitical risk (and the human behaviour that follows) are more than likely the prominent reason” for the decline, he said.

“Many factors have been at play, but more recently the controversial first round of the French elections comes to mind.” 

BUSINESS REPORT

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