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Local stocks track peers lower, but gold limits losses [Star, The (South Africa)]
[March 17, 2014]

Local stocks track peers lower, but gold limits losses [Star, The (South Africa)]

(Star, The (South Africa) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) The rand was little changed against the dollar despite broad weakness in emerging markets, but could face risks from data due this week.

The benchmark Top40 index fell by 1.07 percent at 41 761.01 while the all share index slid 0.88 percent to 46 412.40.

E-commerce and media company Naspers fell the most in more than a month, sliding 4.51 percent to R1 229 as it tracked a decline in shares of its Chinese money spinner Tencent after China's central bank ordered a halt to some mobile payment methods used by internet companies.

"On the domestic side we have more worries on growth prospects and globally the situation in the Ukraine has caught everyone's attention," said Paul Chakaduka, a trader at Cratos Capital.

On the flip side, worries on Ukraine lifted gold to fresh six-months highs on Friday.

AngloGold Ashanti was the biggest gainer in the benchmark index, gaining 2.91 percent to R209, while Sibanye Gold rose 3.4 percent at R25.60.

Trade was fairly brisk, with 185 million shares exchanged.

At 5pm, the rand was bid at R10.7519, less than a cent weaker than at the same time on Thursday.

This week's February consumer price index data and January retail sales data had the potential to underscore the rand's relative fragility and the limitations on the central bank's policy, ETM market analyst Sean McCalgan said.

The data "will probably confirm the policy dilemma that's facing the Reserve Bank", he said, adding that constraints on "its ability to hike rates meaningfully… could be a fundamental negative for the rand".

The yield on the 2026 government bond fell 2 basis points to 8.53 percent while that on the 2015 paper declined 12 basis points to 6.895 percent.

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