JSE stocks close flat

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

Johannesburg - South African stocks closed largely flat on Tuesday, with commodity shares falling as mine workers on strike in the platinum sector turned down the latest wage offers by producers.

Members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) rejected the offer from the world's top three platinum producers, extending a crippling 14-week stoppage.

“Commodity shares have been under pressure today, especially with the news coming out that there's has been no deal resulting in negative sentiment,” said Wilmar Buys, portfolio manager at FFO securities.

Lonmin lost 1.75 percent to 50.50 rand, the biggest loser among major producers, while Anglo American Platinum was down 1.3 percent to 498.86 rand and Impala shed 1.6 percent to 118.10 rand.

Elsewhere on the bourse, e-commerce giant Naspers, South Africa's biggest company by market value, fell 3.27 percent to 1,035 rand, continuing a slide that started in mid March as investors bet it had become too expensive.

“There is a little bit of selling pressure on Naspers. People seem to be taking profit locally with the view that it might be overbought in the short term,” Buys said.

But the Top-40 index was marginally up, gaining 0.06 percent to 43,875.77, while the All-share benchmark inched up 0.05 percent to 48,935.36.

Gainers on the day included construction materials supplier Afrimat, which rose 2.58 percent to 14.90 rand after flagging its full-year earnings would rise by as much as 45 percent.

Retailer Massmart Holdings was up 1.5 percent after saying it had booked a stronger start to its financial year than it had anticipated.

The unit of Wal-Mart Stores said total sales in the first 14 weeks increased by more than 11 percent.

More than 165 million shares were traded on Tuesday, according to preliminary bourse data. - Reuters

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