Monday, 17 August 2015 23:03
JOHANNESBURG: South African stocks ended lower on Monday, dragged down by retail and financial sectors that offset strong gains by gold producer AngloGold Ashanti .
South African financial services group RMB Holdings was the worst performer on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange’s Top 40 Index, falling 2.79 percent to 65.75 and.
Shares in South African fashion-value retailer Mr which sells clothing and homeware, fell 2.66 percent to end at 232.39 rand.
Investors also sold off shares in Telkom after the Competition Commission ruled against a deal to give Africa’s largest mobile operator MTN greater access to the fixed-line operator’s network.
Telkom shares dropped 6.37 percent while MTN shares were largely unaffected, ending 0.23 percent up.
AngloGold was the best performer, ending 4.33 percent higher at 84.08 rand after shares rose nearly 8 percent during trade.
Africa’s biggest bullion producer swung to second quarter profit after it implemented cost-cutting initiatives to counter falling gold prices.
“What is exciting about these results is the fact that they are managing to cut their costs of operations by almost two thirds since gold prices started coming down,” said Petri Redelinghuys, a senior trader at Inkunzi Investments.
“They are being a lean operation and the market is rewarding them.”
The Top-40 index ended 0.12 percent lower at 45,287 and the broader Allshare index fell 0.14 percent to 51,375.
Trading activity on the exchange was robust with 189 million shares changing hands, below last year’s daily average of 183 million shares.