South African Shares: Anglo, BHP, Aquarius, Sasol, Wescoal Move

The FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index fell for the first time in five days, declining 0.7 percent to 34,534.05 by the close in Johannesburg.

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

Anglo American Plc (AGL SJ), the diversified miner that makes up almost 8 percent of the index, slipped the most in three weeks, retreating 2.8 percent to 276.40 rand. Commodities slid to the lowest level in almost 19 months after the Federal Reserve lowered its growth outlook for the world’s largest economy. China’s manufacturing data signaled a slowdown for an eighth month.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BIL SJ), the world’s biggest commodity producer fell 1.9 percent to 237.50 rand.

Aquarius Platinum Ltd. (AQP SJ), the fourth-biggest miner of the metal, dropped to a 7 1/2-year low, slumping 12 percent to 7 rand. The company placed its Everest mine in South Africa on “care and maintenance” after a strike reduced output, costs rose more than inflation and prices declined.

Royal Bafokeng Platinum Ltd. (RBP SJ), fell the most in eight months, slumping 3.3 percent to 54.50 rand. The company said it will defer capital expenditure of about 300 million rand ($36 million) in 2012 and 2013 “due to prevailing difficult market conditions”.

Sasol Ltd. (SOL SJ), the largest producer of motor fuels made from coal, dropped 4.4 percent to 362.64 rand, the biggest decline in more than 28 months. Oil slipped to the lowest price in eight months in New York after U.S. stockpiles unexpectedly increased.

Wescoal Ltd. (WSL SJ), the South African coal producer that reported a return to profit yesterday, rose the most in more than seven months, jumping 19 percent to 81 cents. The company may conclude talks on two transactions with “large international companies” within six weeks, Chief Executive Officer Andre Boje told Johannesburg-based broadcaster Moneyweb yesterday.

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