Platinum firms shine, but JSE retreats

Johannesburg (Oct 7)   South African stocks fell on Tuesday as iron ore prices continued their downward march, hitting companies such as ArcelorMittal, but platinum producers shined due to a slightly softer dollar.

The benchmark Top-40 index fell 0.98% to 43 500 while the broader All-Share index skidded 0.92% to 48 712.

Steel producer ArcelorMittal fell 2.4% to R37.50 as iron ore prices hovered near five-year lows, while Kumba Iron Ore slid 2.6 percent to R272.50.

Spot iron ore in Asia ticked up to $80 a tonne on Tuesday but the price is down 40 percent from the start of the year and hit a five-year low of $77.50 last week amid concerns about a slowdown in China, the world's top consumer of iron ore.

Platinum producers bucked the downward trend, with the Johannesburg-listed sub-index up 3.9 percent on the back of a stronger spot platinum price.

Anglo American Platinum was the biggest climber in the Top-40, jumping 5.3% to R374, its largest daily gain in more than a year.

Smaller rival Impala Platinum rose 1.8% to R88.5.

"Platinum is having a good day. It was hit quite hard last week and the feeling is that it was oversold," said Rabi Thithi, an equities trader at Avior Research.

A below-average 161 million shares changed hands. Decliners narrowly edged out advancers, 127 to 121

Source:  fin24