* Global growth concerns hammer miners again
* Gold producers buck trend as rand weakens
By Ed Stoddard
JOHANNESBURG, March 22 South African stocks
ended in the red for a third straight session on Thursday as
concerns about Chinese growth hit miners and retailer Shoprite
slid after it announced it would issue new shares and
The blue-chip Top-40 index fell 1.09 percent to
29,697.66, extending Tuesday's losses. The market was closed on
Wednesday for a public holiday.
The Top-40's break below the key 30,000 level where it has
been getting strong support is a negative signal which could
herald further decline.
The broader All-share index ended down almost one
percent at 33,550.89.
"We are seeing a lowering of risk appetite in the market
with concerns out of China particularly and big sell-offs in the
metals and resources counters," said Ferdi Heyneke, portfolio
manager at Afrifocus Securities.
Oil prices fell more than 2 percent and global stocks
retreated as disappointing manufacturing data from China and
Europe fuelled worldwide growth concerns.
ArcelorMittal South Africa, a unit of the world's
top steelmaker, shed almost 4 percent to 57.63 rand,
while Kumba Iron Ore stumbled 3.50 percent, extending
its losses from Tuesday of more than 2 percent.
Shoprite was the biggest blue-chip loser on the day with a
5.4 percent tumble after it said would raise up to $1 billion by
issuing new shares and convertible bonds, diluting its current
The proceeds from the fundraising will be used to shore up
its balance sheet and for potential acquisitions, Shoprite said.
Gold miners bucked the downward trend as a rising dollar
knocked South Africa's rand more than one percent weaker. A
softer rand benefits domestic gold producers whose costs are
mostly counted in the local currency but who earn greenbacks for
Harmony Gold was the biggest gainer among the big
bullion producers, adding almost two percent to 84.40 rand.
South Africa accounts for 90 percent of its production,
making it much more sensitive to rand movements than bigger
rivals AngloGold Ashanti and Gold Fields,
which have bigger global footprints.
Decliners outnumbered advancers 182 to 100 with 65 shares
(Editing by Ed Cropley)