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JSE stocks fall for second day

Johannesburg - South African stocks ended a second consecutive session weaker on Friday as iron-ore producers fell on concerns of oversupply in China, the world's largest consumer of steel.

A 16-week strike at platinum companies that looks set to drag on also weighed on the top three global producers of the precious metal.

The JSE is seen in this file photo: Leon Nicholas. Credit: INDEPENDENT MEDIA

The benchmark Top-40 index was down 0.7 percent to 44,078.03 while the wider All Share index fell 0.6 percent to 49,159.77. Both indices touched all-time highs in the previous session.

China's statistics bureau data released on Friday showed iron ore production was up 12.3 percent from a year ago to 122.4 million tonnes, sending stocks of South African producers lower.

“Demand out of China will ultimately determine the iron price and unless we see new infrastructure spend out of China, iron-ore producers are going to remain under pressure,” said Paul Chakaduka of Global Trader.

Diversified mining group African Rainbow Minerals, which has iron ore in its portfolio, fell 2.2 percent to 195.73 rand, while Assore and Kumba Iron dropped 1.9 percent each to 394.06 and 370.04 rand respectively.

Platinum mining firms were also in for a beating after Impala said the ongoing four-month work stoppage had been “devastating”. The violent wage dispute that has brought the sector to a standstill resulted in four deaths over the weekend.

The companies have lost production worth 18.2 billion rand ($1.76 billion) since the strike began, according to an industry website tracking the impact of the dispute.

(http://platinumwagenegotiations.co.za/).

Lonmin shares shed more than 3 percent to 42.80 rand and Anglo American Platinum fell 2 percent to 467.50 rand.

More than 154 million shares traded hands, according to preliminary data from the Johannesburg bourse, with decliners outpacing advancers 163 to 126. - Reuters

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