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South African Stocks: Anglo, Aquarius, Harmony, Naspers, Sasol

The FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index closed at the lowest level since April 19, losing 469.19, or 1.5 percent, to 31,856.64 at the 5 p.m. close of trade in Johannesburg.

The following were among the most active stocks in the South African market today.

Aquarius Platinum Ltd. (AQP SJ), the world’s fourth-largest producer of the metal, rallied the most since Aug. 17, jumping 2.68 rand, or 7.3 percent, to 39.40 rand. The company said in a regulatory filing that it has acquired the mining rights on farms adjacent to its Everest Mine in South Africa.

AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. (ANG SJ), Africa’s largest producer of the precious metal, declined 7.80 rand, or 2.4 percent, to 314.20 rand, the lowest level since March 22. The Wall Street Journal reported that Soros Fund Management LLC, the $28 billion hedge fund run by Keith Anderson, has sold much of its gold and silver holdings. Gold declined for a second day. Harmony Gold Mining Co. (HAR SJ), Africa’s third-largest producer of the metal, fell to the lowest level since April 29, weakening 3 rand, or 3.1 percent, to 94 rand.

BHP Billiton Plc (BIL SJ), the world’s largest mining company, fell for a fifth day, dropping 3.84 rand, or 1.4 percent, to 266.96 rand. Copper headed for the lowest closing level since March 15, falling 2.5 percent to $9,120 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange, as the central bank of China, the world’s largest metals user, said taming inflation is its top priority and U.S. jobs growth for April was slower than expectations. Anglo American Plc (AGL SJ), a diversified mining company that forms 10 percent of the benchmark stock index, dropped 1.9 percent, or 6.55 rand, to 331.50 rand, the lowest since Dec. 15.

Naspers Ltd. (NPN SJ), Africa’s largest media company, dropped the most since April 12, slipping 11.47 rand, or 3 percent, to 375.09 rand. Naspers holds about 35 percent of Tencent Holdings Ltd., China’s biggest Internet company.

Sasol Ltd. (SOL SJ), the world’s largest maker of motor fuel from coal, fell 7.12 rand, or 1.9 percent, to 361.40 rand, the lowest since April 18. Oil declined for a third day, losing as much as 2 percent to $108.80 a barrel.

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