S.African stocks fall for 2nd day ahead of Fed decision

by Reuters 0

South African stocks slipped on Wednesday, falling for the second consecutive session, driven by index heavyweight BHP Billiton as industrial metals faltered.

Investors also awaited the statement from the Federal Reserve’s latest two-day policy meeting for clues on when interest rates are likely to be increased, meaning a possible flight of capital from emerging markets, traders said.

BHP Billiton and Kumba Iron Ore took the most points off the benchmark index as the price of iron ore weakened.

BHP Billiton lost 1.2 per cent to 285 rand and Kumba Iron Ore pulled back 4.6 per cent to 166 rand as the price of iron ore weakened.

The benchmark Top-40 index was down 0.95 per cent to 48,296, while the broader All-share index fell by 0.9 per cent to 54,541.

Other decliners were mobile phone firm MTN, down 2.2 per cent to 241 rand and rival Vodacom, which gave up nearly 2 percent to 152 rand.

Among the gainers, Merafe Resources jumped 7.8 per cent to 83 cents after global miner Glencore PLC bought nearly 30 percent stake in the junior mining firm.

With 220 million shares changing hands, trade was above average from last year’s daily average of 183 million shares.