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Bourse declines as investors drop platinum shares

February 4, 2014

The benchmark Top40 index slipped 0.38 percent to 40 431.55 points. The broader all share index declined 0.39 percent to 44 956.91. Shares in Amplats slipped 0.41 percent to R440.89 after the top producer of the precious metal warned that its recovery was vulnerable to strikes, even as it swung back to full profits last year. After several days of selling, investors were starting to bet the market might see a turnaround soon. "We can safely say that people are now looking at picking bottoms here, the rate of sell-off is declining," Owen Nkomo , the executive partner at Inkunzi Investments, said. Implats, which also faces labour strikes along with Amplats and Lonmin , fell 0.29 percent to R115.10. The wage strike has entered its second week as about 80 000 workers downed tools seeking a doubling of wages, risking further job cuts in an industry already smarting from low metal prices. Bucking the downturn of resource stocks, AngloGold Ashanti rose 1.56 percent to R165.30, its highest level in almost three months to become the biggest gainer among the blue chips. News that Grindrod will help build and operate a new 590km railway line worth almost $1 billion (R11bn) helped push the company's stock up 6.13 percent to R26.85. The group is working with Zambia's Northwest Rail Company on the link that will connect the country's copper belt with the Angolan border. Retailers such as the continent's biggest grocer Shoprite recovered from a brief sell-off last week to gain 1.13 percent to R144.31. Woolworths rose 0.48 percent to close at R60.79. Trade was relatively active with ' million shares changing hands. Pretoria News

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Source: Pretoria News (South Africa)

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