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South African Stocks: Anglo, Billiton, Gold Fields, Old Mutual

The FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index advanced 0.8 percent to 31,904.14 by the close in Johannesburg, paring the index’s loss for the year to 1 percent.

The following were among the most active equities in the South African market today. Stock symbols follow company names.

Anglo American Plc (AGL SJ), the mining company that makes up about 9 percent of the benchmark stock index, rose 1.1 percent to 299.99 rand. Copper climbed for a third day before reports that may show U.S. consumer confidence and spending gained, boosting the demand outlook for the metal used in pipes and wires.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BIL SJ), the world’s biggest miner, increased 1.6 percent to 239.99 rand. Workers at the company’s coking coal operations in Australia, the world’s largest exporter, suspended their campaign of strikes pending the resumption of contract talks next month.

Blue Label Telecoms Ltd. (BLU SJ), a phone-services reseller, gained for a second day, adding 1.8 percent to 5.65 rand. Earnings per share for the six months through November may rise more than 20 percent from a year earlier, the company said in a trading update.

Central Rand Gold Ltd. (CRD SJ), a gold miner, surged to a four-month high, jumping 6.7 percent to 16 cents. A consent order setting aside the South African Minister of Mineral Resources’ decision on Sept. 22 to cancel its mining rights was obtained in High Court of South Africa, the company said in a regulatory filing.

Gold Fields Ltd. (GFI SJ), the fourth-biggest producer of the metal, declined 0.9 percent to 126.74 rand, a second day of losses. Gold declined as stronger-than-forecast demand for European Central Bank loans raised concern that the region’s debt crisis is still not contained, boosting the dollar and damping demand for alternative assets.

Old Mutual Plc (OML SJ), South Africa’s largest insurer and the third-biggest insurer in the U.K., gained for a fifth day, rising 1.7 percent to 17.10 rand. The company may pay a special dividend of at least 15 pence per share and its shares could rise next year following the sale of Nordic units, according to Risto Ketola, an analyst at Standard Bank Group Ltd.’s SBG Securities.

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