Filomena Scalise

Johannesburg - South African stocks ended lower on Thursday, erasing gains and snapping a two-day record run after euro zone monetary policy makers left rates unchanged and gave no immediate steps to tackle the region's debt crisis.

Industrial metal miners were among the worst performers on the blue-chip index as commodity prices slipped with copper falling to its lowest since late last month.

“There was a little bit of nervousness ahead of the ECB, and what we saw after that meeting I think the market was a little bit disappointed,” said Andrew Bryson, a trader at BoE Stockbrokers.

The benchmark Top-40 index closed down 0.14 percent at 30,817.28. The broader All-Share index, the broadest measure of South African stock performance, ended 0.11 percent lower at 35,033.09, pulling back from a record high of 35,240.00 set earlier in the session.

Aquarius Platinum plunged 7.1 percent to 4.60 rand, a day after the platinum producer suffered an attack at its South Africa mine that left three people dead and forced it to briefly halt operations.

Rival Impala Platinum lost 1.9 percent to 131.50 rand and Anglo American Platinum gave up 1.79 percent to 430.05 rand.

Luxury goods maker Richemont was down 3.1 percent at 47.20 rand.

Gold miners bucked the weaker tone on the bourse as a weaker rand currency provided support despite a slight dip in the yellow metal.

Gold miners Harmony Gold and Gold Fields rose 1.99 to 81.95 rand and 1.73 percent to 108.50.

A weaker rand benefits gold miners because they earn their profits in dollars and pay their cost rands .

Preliminary bourse data showed 153 million shares were traded, compared with 145 million shares on Wednesday. Advancers were outpaced by decliners 146 to 134, and 75 counters remained unchanged. - Reuters