SA platinum index hits 14-month low

Johannesburg (Sept 22)   South Africa’s gauge of platinum-mining stocks fell to the lowest since July 2013 as the world’s three-biggest producers struggle to recover from a five-month strike and as metal prices retreated.

The six-member FTSE/JSE Africa Platinum Mining Index fell 3.5 percent to 39.11 by the close in Johannesburg, a third day of declines. More than two times the three-month daily average of shares were traded, while the measure’s 14-day relative strength index fell to 20.4, the lowest since August 2011. Spot platinum retreated 12 percent from this year’s peak reached on July 10, about two weeks after a stoppage by about 70,000 workers ended.

“In addition to the lost production and the cost problems, you’ve also got a weak platinum price,” Garth Mackenzie, founder of, said by phone today from Johannesburg. “The palladium price has also been breaking lower recently, that’s also bad news for these stocks.”

Producers including Anglo American Platinum Ltd., Lonmin Plc and Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd., which supply more than two-thirds of the world’s mined platinum, are reviewing growth plans and are putting mines up for sale after the strike over wages. Impala was the worst performer on the index, retreating 4.3 percent to 86.62 rand. Amplats fell 3.3 percent to 385.80 rand. None of the gauge’s members gained.