Bargain hunters buoy JSE stocks

South African stocks ended largely flat on Monday, in line with European equities, but platinum miner surged as investors chased after bargains following recent sharp losses.

Platinum miner Anglo American Platinum jumped nearly 3 percent to 480.01 rand and rival Impala Platinum was 2 percent stronger at 134.23 rand.

The JSE. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi. Credit: Independent Newspapers

Johannesburg's platinum index fallen nearly 9 percent in the last four weeks.

“The market has been resilient, most of the bad news is already priced in,” said Greg Davies, an equity trader at Anglorand Securities.

“Some people feel our market is a bit oversold. There are a few bargain hunters. The sellers seem to have dried up.”

Investors have been looking for direction from Europe, a vital trade partner for South Africa, where markets have slumped due to worries about overwhelming debt among some countries.

The Top-40 index of blue chips edged down 0.06 percent to 29,144.78. The broader All-Share index finished 0.09 percent lower at 33,076.30.

Losers of the day were led by Kumba Iron Ore, which fell 1.9 percent to 525 rand. Gold Fields pushed lower to close 1.7 percent lower at 115.50 rand.

Spot gold fell 1 percent on Monday as some investors took profits after the metal's 3 percent rally on Friday, when bullion broke ranks with riskier assets.

Johannesburg-listed shares of global miner BHP Billiton fell 1.25 percent to 221.10 rand. Shares of the firm have fallen 8.6 percent in the last four weeks.

Decliners edged past advancers 184 to 114, while 71 shares remained unchanged. Trade was relatively slow, with 143 million shares changing hands, according to the latest available data from the exchange.

That compared to 313 million shares that changed hands in the previous session. - Reuters