Battered gold sends JSE stocks lower

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IOL image JSE interior view INDEPENDENT MEDIA The JSE is seen in this file photo: Leon Nicholas.

Shares of South African gold companies fall as the bullion price drops to its lowest in two weeks on concerns the US Federal Reserve is worried about its highly stimulative monetary policy.

Fears that central banks' money-printing to buy assets will stoke inflation have been a key driver in boosting gold, which rallied to an 11-month high in early October after the Fed announced its third round of aggressive economic stimulus.

Gold ended up around 7 percent in 2012 - the 12th straight year of gains, making it one of the longest bull runs ever for a commodity. It has gained on rock-bottom interest rates, concerns over the financial stability of the euro zone, and diversification into bullion by central banks.

Gold Fields has shed 2.7 percent to 103.65 rand in Johannesburg, while bigger rival AngloGold Ashanti is 2.4 percent lower at 262.59 rand. Harmony Gold is 2.8 percent weaker at 72.35 rand. - Reuters

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