Mining stocks on the JSE fell yesterday as nervousness among emerging markets continued. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA)

JOHANNESBURG – Mining stocks on the JSE fell yesterday as nervousness among emerging markets continued with the continuing US-China trade spats weighing heavily on commodities. Gold and platinum producers felt the brunt with the world's second biggest platinum producer, Impala Platinum, falling 5.36 percent to R18 a share.

The JSE Africa Platinum Index slipped 1.63 percent. Royal Bafokeng Platinum fell by 4 percent to trade at R23.52 a share, while Anglo American Platinum, the biggest platinum producer, shed 0.11 percent to trade at R433.77 a share.

Northam Platinum was down 1.26 percent to trade at R39.09 a share, while Lonmin, the world’s third biggest platinum producer, was unscathed, rising by 6.7 percent to R8.59 a share.

Seleho Tsatsi, an investment analyst at Anchor Capital in Johannesburg, said that emerging markets were closely linked to commodities, with the likes of Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa all significant parties in the commodities space. 

“Contagion fears around emerging markets, slowing data out of China and fear around a trade war between the US and China have all contributed to the pullback,” said Tsatsi, adding that some commodity prices, including copper, had come under pressure as a result.

Harmony Gold Company contracted 2.55 percent to trade at R26.01 a share. Tailings retreatment company DRDGold declined by 3.94 percent to R3.17 a share.

Gold Fields, which operates South Deep outside Johannesburg, was also down 2.17 percent at R34.33 a share.

Leon Esterhuizen, a mining analyst at Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking said mining stocks had taken a nose down due to trade wars.

“Basically all to do with trade wars – Trump’s increased threats make for a real threat against global economic growth, and this impacts commodity prices,” said Esterhuizen.

The escalating trade tensions between the US and China are expected to have real-world ramifications, global ratings agency S&P Global found previously.