JSE stocks steady, mining shares tumble

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The JSE board in Sandton in Johannesburg. Photo: Leon Nicholas.

Johannesburg - South African stocks ended little changed on Wednesday as investors bought shares of companies such as brewer SABMiller but sold mining stocks after a fall in commodity prices.

Shares of mining firms such as Gold Fields fell after the bullion price hit a 5-month low as investors awaited US economic data later in the week that could increase speculation the Federal Reserve will soon exit its asset purchase scheme.

“We were pushing into highs over the last while so I don't think it is unexpected to see a bit of a correction on the market,” said Ferdi Heyneke, a portfolio manager at Afrifocus Securities.

“We are still seeing some support in places where the market likes the companies and quite a lot of selling in the mining shares, particularly platinum and gold.”

The benchmark Top-40 index added 0.16 percent to 39,258.76.

The broader All-share index was up 0.05 percent to 43,986.37.

SABMiller added 1.75 percent to 525.02 rand, making it the biggest gainer on the Top-40 index.

Other gainers included global mining company BHP Billiton, which rose 1.57 percent to 309.62 rand.

Top-40 decliners were lead by Gold Fields, which lost 3.27 percent to 37.92 rand, while Impala Platinum fell 2.42 percent to 113.10 rand.

On the All-share index DRDGold tumbled 7.22 percent to 3.47 rand and Sibanye Gold fell 5.56 percent to 11.90 rand.

At least 192 million shares changed hands, interim bourse statistics showed.

A total of 170 companies fell and another 124 rose, while 61 shares were unchanged. - Reuters

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