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#RandReport: South African stocks close higher; Lonmin in focus

The All-share index gained 0.6% to 59,976, while the blue-chip JSE Top-40 index added 0.7% to 53,564.

Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - South African stocks ended higher on Monday with Lonmin in the spotlight amid growing concerns about the future of the platinum miner.

The rand was little changed.

Lonmin’s share price plunged on Friday after it delayed its financial results because it could not give a specific figure for the impact of an ongoing business review.

Its shares, which are also listed in London, slumped a further 6% to R13.28 on Monday, bringing the cumulative decline to just over 32% since the start of Friday.

Nedbank CIB said in a note that despite Lonmin reporting some good production numbers on Friday, “cost problems remain and continue to point to a need for recapitalisation”.

In other South African equities, investors piled into mining shares as gold and industrial metal prices such as copper and nickel cruised higher.

The All-share index gained 0.6% to 59,976, while the blue-chip JSE Top-40 index added 0.7% to 53,564.

The rand strengthened slightly, trading up 0.05% against the dollar at 14.2025.

Gerrit van Rooyen, an economist at NKC African Economics, said the South African currency would probably be range-bound this week in the absence of major domestic data releases.

But he said investors would be watching political headlines closely as the ruling African National Congress’ December leadership contest heats up, in particular for any sign that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s campaign is gaining momentum.

Market players view Ramaphosa more favourably than Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, another frontrunner in the ANC leadership race and an ex-wife of President Jacob Zuma.

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