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Stocks in technical rebound, volatility seen

Gainers included Sasol, up over 2%, Lonmin sunk to its lowest level in more than a decade.

South Africa’s stocks rose on Wednesday in a technical rebound after falling almost 3% in the previous session but more volatility is seen as the Greek debt drama plays out.

Gainers included petro-chemicals group Sasol, which gained over 2% as oil bounced back from a three-month low after an industry report showed a larger-than-forecast drop in US crude stocks.

Overall, analysts said the market put in a technical bounce after momentum indicators on Thomson Reuters Eikon showed the main indices had strayed into oversold territory on Tuesday.

“We are basically looking at a technical rebound for oversold levels … so I think we’re just having a little bit of a buying opportunity to some weakness and not much more than that,” said Lloyd Priestman, markets analyst at Caleo Capital.

“I’m expecting a lot of volatility,” he added, citing jitters over an end-of-week deadline for Greece to secure a loan deal and turbulence in Chinese stocks.

Johannesburg’s Top-40 index closed up 0.68% at 44,679 and the broader All-share index gained 0.48% to 50,236.

On the downside, Kumba Iron Ore fell 5.35% to R115, a 6-1/2 year low, as spot iron ore prices dropped 11.3% on rising supplies and slowing Chinese demand. .

Platinum shares hit multi-year lows as the metal’s spot price approached $1,000, levels that analysts say may push most of the struggling industry into the red.

Royal Bafokeng Platinum dropped 4.4% to R40.14 and Anglo American Platinum lost 2.1% to R248.74, the lowest in a decade.

Lonmin sunk to its lowest level in more than a decade, closing 3.62% lower at R18.62. In London its share hit three-decade lows.

Trading was brisk with 225 million shares changing hands, well above last year’s daily average of 183 million.

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