S.Africa stocks end little changed, retailers rebound

Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:57am EDT

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* Top-40 index edges down 0.06 pct

* All-share index barely changed

JOHANNESBURG Aug 21 (Reuters) - South African stocks ended little changed on Thursday as investors weighed downbeat data on business activity in China that hit metal prices and views that banks and retailers are oversold.

The JSE Top-40 index ended 0.06 percent lower at 46,283 and the broader All-share index hardly moved at 51,443.

"Although the U.S. ended in the green overnight, the overall tone on global markets is less decisive following the poor Chinese figures," brokerage house Imara SP Reid said in note.

"At the same time investors continue to appraise the domestic economic picture for South Africa in the wake of some rather lacklustre earnings and the downgrade of the banking sector."

Mining shares dominated the losers' list after China's manufacturing activity hit a three-month low in August, raising concerns about the demand for industrial metals.

Iron ore miner Assore slumped 3.47 percent to 329.12 rand and diversified miner African Rainbow Minerals was down 2.7 percent at 185 rand.

On the upside, some retailers rebounded after days of sharp declines that were prompted by weak earnings.

Truworths topped the gainers' list, rising 8.14 percent after the clothes retailer met estimates with a slight increase in annual profit.

Banks also bounced back, gaining between 1 and 2 percent, from losses triggered by rating agency Moody's downgrade, which the central bank and some analysts said was unwarranted.

Trade was active with 176 million shares traded, in line with last year's daily average, according to preliminary bourse statistics. (Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing by Andrew Roche)

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