Bloomberg News

South African Shares Fall to One-Week Low as Metals Decline

June 02, 2011

(Updates with closing prices from second paragraph)

June 2 (Bloomberg) -- South African stocks dropped to a one-week low, led by mining companies, as metals prices fell and BHP Billiton Plc faced the first strike in a decade at its Australian coal mines.

The FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index slipped to the lowest since May 25, losing 1.4 percent to 31,877.77 at the 5 p.m. close in Johannesburg. BHP, the world’s largest mining company, slumped 2.8 percent to 258.70 rand, the weakest since March 22. Anglo American Plc, the diversified mining company that makes up 10 percent of the stock gauge, fell for a second day.

Copper, nickel and aluminum declined in London for a second straight day as manufacturing slowdowns from China to the U.S. stoked concern that the global economic recovery may be faltering. About 4,000 labor union members at BHP’s seven mines in Queensland had until the end of today to decide in a vote whether to take industrial action.

“All the negative data that has been hitting our screens over the last few sessions looks like it has finally hit home and investors ran for the hills,” analysts at Barnard Jacobs Mellet Private Client Services, a Johannesburg-based stock broker, wrote in an e-mailed note today.

Output in the U.S. was the weakest in more than a year, according to a report yesterday, while industrial production cooled in India and the U.K. Greece’s risk of default was raised to 50 percent by Moody’s Investors Service as European officials rushed to put together the second bailout plan in two years to stave off renewed financial turmoil in the region.

Anglo Platinum Ltd., the world’s largest producer of the metal, dropped to the lowest level in more than a week, trading 1.5 percent down at 638 rand, as platinum fell for a second day.

Impala Platinum Ltd., the world’s second-largest producer of the metal, fell 0.8 percent, the most since May 26, to 188 rand.

--Editors: Peter Branton, Gavin Serkin

To contact the reporter on this story: Sikonathi Mantshantsha in Johannesburg at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at

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