SA stocks lower as US scale-back fears grow

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - BUSINESS -

SOUTH African stocks edged down yes­ter­day, fall­ing for the fourth straight trad­ing day as con­cern in­ten­si­fied the US Fed­eral Re­serve could start scal­ing back its stim­u­lus as early as next week.

Shares of blue chip com­pa­nies such as Im­pala Plat­inum and Assore were among the de­clin­ers, a day af­ter the Jo­han­nes­burg bourse suf­fered its big­gest daily drop in al­most six months and ahead of a long week- end that in­cludes Mon­day’s na­tional hol­i­day.

In­vestors are wor­ried the US Fed­eral Re­serve will be­gin scal­ing back, or ta­per­ing, its mas­sive bond- buy­ing stim­u­lus pro­gramme that has un­der­pinned eq­ui­ties in emerg­ing mar­kets such as South Africa.

“There is a bit of hol­i­day sell­ing com­ing in now, we have the Fed meet­ing next week, so the talk of ta­per­ing seems to be the word of the day,” said Bran­don Sacks, a sales trader at Av­ior Re­search in Jo­han­nes­burg.

“I think guys are sit­ting back wait­ing for that to hap­pen; yes­ter­day was the start of it.”

The bench­mark Top-40 in­dex ended the ses­sion 0.1 per­cent lower at 38 537.55, while the broader All-Share in­dex slipped 0.15 per­cent at 43 185.73.

Im­pala Plat­inum fell 2 per­cent to R109.19 while Assore dropped 3.3 per­cent to R342.27. – Reuters

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