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JSE stocks fall, Sappi hit by sale woes

Johannesburg - South African stocks fell on Thursday in line with lower global markets as uncertainty mounted about US monetary policy and after lacklustre euro zone data showed a slower-than-expected recovery in Europe.

Pulp and paper maker Sappi fell 5.37 percent to 40.69 rand after the company said its sales into Russia and Ukraine have been affected by political crisis in that region, but posted a return to profit in its third quarter.

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

Decliners included mining companies such as Impala Platinum and AngloGold Ashanti as gold fell to six-week lows and platinum lost almost 1 percent.

Overall, sentiment was driven by global flows and woes, market players said.

“It's all worries about whether the strength of any recovery in Europe seems to be dissipating fast,” said Greg Katzenellenbogen, a director at Sanlam Private Investments.

Implats shed 2.9 percent to 106.33 rand while AngloGold lost 2.3 percent to 183.05 rand.

The benchmark Top-40 index fell 0.79 percent to 46,222 while the broader All-Share index skid 0.72 percent to 51,396.

Sibanye Gold lost 0.24 percent to 25.44 rand after rising as much as 5 percent during trade after it announced a 50 cents per share dividend despite earnings being lower.

Trade was active with about 193 million shares changing hands, slightly above last year's average of 176 million.

Decliners outpaced advancers 182 to 128 while 51 shares remained unchanged. - Reuters

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