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South African stocks in 3-session losing streak, gold shares dive

South African stocks in 3-session losing streak, gold shares diveJOHANNESBURG: South African stocks fell for a third straight session on Tuesday with gold mining shares among the biggest decliners as the price of bullion remained near its lowest level in more than five years.

AngloGold Ashanti was the biggest loser on the blue-chip Top-40 index, dropping 5.8 percent to 79.15 rand. Smaller rival Gold Fields, which is not in the Top-40 stocks, plunged 7.9 percent to 34.27 rand.

Gold remained near 5-1/5-year lows on Tuesday as markets braced for this week’s Federal Reserve meeting, where policy makers are expected to give further clues on the timing of a US rate increase.

“Until the Fed provides some clarity on Wednesday, it’s difficult to say that we’ve hit a floor,” ING analyst Hamza Khan said. The JSE Top-40 index lost 1.05 percent to 45,290 and the broader All-share index was down by the same margin to 50,758.

MTN Group shares tumbled 6 percent to 200.30 rand after Africa’s biggest mobile operator said its first-half earnings likely fell by as much as 15 percent after a weaker exchange rate hurt its international business.

On the upside, Kumba Iron Ore climbed 3.9 percent to 109 rand as the price of iron ore climbed more than 3 percent to hit a one-week high.

Trading volumes on the bourse were robust, with more than 230 million shares changing hands, well above last year’s daily average of 183 million shares.

Copyright Reuters, 2015

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