May 14, 2012 / 3:40 PM / in 6 years

S.Africa stocks felled by euro zone woes, gold price

* Technical support for Top 40 seen around 29,500

* Gold Fields biggest blue-chip loser

By Ed Stoddard and Cosmas Butunyi

JOHANNESBURG, May 14 (Reuters) - South African stocks sank on Monday, snapping two days of gains, as Europe’s debt imbroglio, a slumping gold price and bad results smacked investor confidence, with Gold Fields leading blue chips lower.

Local markets remain hostage to sentiment being driven by the euro zone, which is putting investors off riskier emerging market assets, but analysts do see some technical support kicking in if local shares lose further ground.

“The market is still suffering from significant jitters in the euro zone. In such an environment of uncertainty, risky assets are not a good place to be,” said Waseem Thokan, an economist at Legae Securities.

Gloom was seen everywhere.

Global stocks slid and the euro fell to a four-month low on Monday as a political impasse in Greece heralded a potential exit for the country from the euro zone, while a move to prop up lending in China and poor European data pointed to slower world growth.

The blue-chip Top-40 index closed down 1.66 percent at 29,577.06. The broader All-share index ended 1.48 percent lower at 33,533.56, moving further away from record peaks scaled earlier this month.

Chartists see further decline checked, at least initially.

“Strong support on the Top 40 comes in at around 29,500 or just below, you have 5 prior lows at or near there between late March and early May,” said George Glynos, managing director at financial consultancy ETM.

But he said a break below 29,250 would be taken as bearish and could herald a further descent.

Gold Fields, the world’s fourth largest bullion producer, led blue chips lower as the precious metal’s spot price fell to 4-1/2 month lows.

Gold Fields lost 4.23 percent on the day to 102.90 rand, bringing its losses in the year to date to almost 14 percent.

Bigger rival AngloGold Ashanti dropped 2.91 percent to 267.00 rand while Harmony Gold shed 2.58 percent.

Gold prices fell to a 4-1/2-month low on Monday, hit by concerns about the worsening debt crisis in the euro zone which fueled risk aversion and put pressure on the euro.

Spot gold hit a session low at $1,556.61 an ounce, its lowest since December 30, 2011, before recovering slightly.

Johannesburg-listed shares of Lonmin slid more than 4 percent after the world’s third-largest platinum producer said pretax profit in the first half plunged to $18 million from $159 million a year ago.

A total of 154 million shares changed hands, according to preliminary bourse statistics. Decliners outnumbered advancers 216 to 82, while 45 shares were unchanged. (Editing by Agnieszka Flak)

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