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SA stocks sink again as commodities routed

Kumba hits low.

South African stocks sank for a second session in a row on Tuesday, pulled down once again by a global resources sell-off that saw platinum hit five-year lows and iron ore plumb a record trough.

Leading blue-chip decliners, Kumba iron Ore fell nearly 5 percent to 179 rand, a 5-1/2 year low, after the price of its commodity slipped below $60 a tonne – its lowest since records began in late 2008 – under pressure from a global glut as China’s economic growth slows.

South Africa’s rand fell to 13-year lows against the dollar but this offered no relief to local mining companies, which often benefit from a weaker domestic currency because they sell for greenbacks.

“The weak rand is not helping with commodity prices still going south. If commodity prices continue to fall, the rand will remain on the back foot. And this is not good for our market, inflation or anything,” said Abri du Plessis, Chief Investment Officer for Gryphon Asset Management.

The resource rout was wide-ranging.

Platinum fell to a new near-five-year low of $1,125.75 an ounce. The metal has dropped 5.1 percent since the start of the year on expectations of lower demand from the automotive sector and higher mine supply.

Impala Platinum 4.8% and Anglo American Platinum shed 1.6%.

The JSE Top-40 index was off 1.06% at 46,148 and the broader All-share index lost 1 percent to 52,088.

Trade was robust with more than 278 million shares changing hands, well above last year’s daily average of 183 million shares.

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