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Stocks end mixed, ArcelorMittal slides

Steel producer ArcelorMittal hit 13-year lows after it announced plans to shut down two mills.

South African were little changed on Monday as steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa hit 13-year lows after it announced plans to shut down two mills and review operations at its largest plant.

Africa’s largest steel maker fell 14.9% to R9.96, a level last seen in 2002, as the company battles lower prices and weak demand for its products.

“There is a lot of selling pressure from shareholders who are now getting concerned that the steel industry is on the precipice of collapse,” said Nicholas Sorour, a portfolio manager at Sasfin Securities.

The benchmark Top-40 index edged down 0.08% to 44,350 points while the broader All-Share index ended virtually unchanged, up 0.01% to 49,972 points.

Impala Platinum fell 1.6% to R49.52 after its Zimbabwean unit posted a full-year loss after a drop in sales and a hefty one-off tax repayment.

Airline company Comair dropped 2.2% to R3.60 as it warned that full-year earnings could be down by at least 12%.

Harmony Gold felt the pinch of lower metal prices, falling 2.76% to R11.28. Bullion inched lower on Monday, extending last week’s slide on indications the US Federal Reserve may still raise rates this year, despite market turmoil.

Conglomerate Bidvest rose 4.6% to R318.90 after it reported that its European food business helped lift the company’s full-year profits.

Trading was lacklustre, with 152 million shares changing hands, according to preliminary bourse data. This was lower than last year’s daily average of 187 million shares.

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