South African stocks were little changed Tuesday, struggling for direction as a downturn in copper prices dragged on diversified miners, and falling crude oil prices depressed Sasol.
The FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index declined less than 0.1% at 9:35 a.m. in Johannesburg, ahead of a market holiday Wednesday. Commodities retreated.
Like Asian peers, South Africa stocks were mixed ahead of Wednesday’s key Federal Reserve meeting. Investors are awaiting clues about a timetable for scaling back emergency monetary stimulus after a pullback in bond yields eased tapering concerns.
Anglo American Plc dropped 1.7% to provide the biggest drag to the index, and pulling the gauge for industrial miners down 0.7%. Copper prices fell to the lowest in seven weeks amid a decline in base metals on concern about possible tightening of monetary policy in the US and as Chinese demand pulled back after a recent rally in prices.
Glencore -1%, African Rainbow Minerals -0.8%, Kumba Iron Ore -0.6%.
Market heavyweight Sasol fell 1.6% as crude oil prices retreated, with investors weighing the outlook for rising demand against extended anti-virus curbs in some economies.
Richemont advanced for a second consecutive day, up 0.4% to provide the biggest boost to the benhcmark index, after news that the company was in exclusive talks to acquire Belgium’s Delvaux
Foreigners were net sellers of South African equities Monday, disposing of R400 million worth of shares, according to exchange operator JSE Ltd.