* Platinum shares climb
* Indices rise by over 0.2 percent
JOHANNESBURG Nov 20 South African stocks were
marginally stronger on Tuesday, as gains by platinum miners were
partially offset by weak retailers such as Woolworths.
Coal of Africa dropped the most on the All-Share
index after state utility Eskom, a key buyer of coal,
said wildcat strikes had chocked demand from miners.
Retailers were hit on concerns their share prices have
gained too much this year. High-end clothes and grocery retailer
Woolworths, which has gained more than 70 percent this year,
fell 3 percent to 67 rand.
"People are starting to see some of these retail shares as
being a bit overpriced," said Thys van Zyl, a portfolio manager
at Thebe Stockbroking.
"If it keeps on with this trend we might see January,
February being a tough time for the retailers."
The benchmark Top-40 index rose 0.24 percent to
33,098.28 and the All-Share added 0.21 percent to 37,306.60.
Clothing retailer Foschini, which is up about 27
percent this year, fell lost 2.3 percent to 129.75 rand.
Discount apparel and furniture seller, Mr. Price,
which is also up more than 70 percent this year, edged down 0.4
percent to 138 rand.
said Thebe's van Zyl.
Coal of Africa tumbled 6 percent to 1.64 rand. Fellow coal
producer Exxaro shed 4 percent to 157.15 rand after
Barclays cut its rating to "equalweight" from "overweight".
On the other end, Aquarius Platinum extended a
rally sparked by a Nomura upgrade in the previous session,
climbing 6.7 percent to 6.04 rand.
Rival Lonmin also chalked up more gains following
shareholder approval on Monday of $817 million rights issue to
repair its scrawny balance sheet. Its shares added 5 percent to
In a research note to clients on Monday, Nomura raised its
rating for Aquarius to "buy" from "neutral" and for Lonmin to
"buy" from "reduce."
Nomura said the wave of violent strikes that have swept
South Africa's platinum mines this year have reduced supply to
such an extent that the price of the white metal and shares of
companies that mine and produce it should rally.
Some 174 million shares were traded, according to the latest
bourse statistics, with 148 companies gaining value and prices
of another 137 falling.
(Reporting by Helen Nyambura-Mwaura; editing by David Dolan)