Bloomberg News

South African Stocks Fall to 3-Month Low on Metals, Europe Debt

June 17, 2011

June 17 (Bloomberg) --South African stocks declined the to the lowest level in three months, led by mining companies Anglo American Plc and BHP Billiton Plc after metals retreated and as European leaders prepared to discuss Greece’s debt crisis.

The FTSE/JSE All Share Index slipped 1.6 percent to 30,503.78 by 10:20 a.m. in Johannesburg. A close at that level would be the lowest since March 15. Yesterday was a public holiday in South Africa.

Copper fell for a third day in London, while lead and nickel also slumped. German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets with French President Nicolas Sarkozy today to resolve the impasse over a second Greek rescue as Germany’s insistence that bondholders share the cost fans the risk of contagion. Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou will announce cabinet changes today after failing to garner support for austerity measures.

South African markets will “probably need to play some catch-up as commodity prices are still a lot lower” than at the close on June 15, Johannesburg-based brokerage and asset manager Renaissance BJM said in an e-mailed note to clients. “The big news today is all about Greece. We will continue to take direction from international markets.”

Anglo American, the diversified mining company that makes up 11 percent of South Africa’s benchmark stock index, dropped to the lowest level since Oct. 20, slipping as much as 3.2 percent to 308.51 rand. BHP Billiton, the world’s largest mining company, dropped 1.8 percent to 248.40 rand, heading for the lowest close since Oct. 29.

--Editors: Ana Monteiro, Linda Shen

To contact the reporter on this story: Sikonathi Mantshantsha in Johannesburg at smantshantsh@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at gserkin@bloomberg.net


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