SA stocks edge toward quarterly gain

South Africa’s main stock index drops 0.4% on final trading day of third quarter, leaving the benchmark 0.2% lower for the past three months, and 2.2% lower for September, a second consecutive monthly decline. In contrast with the market’s overall negative tone Wednesday, Capitec surged after releasing first-half earnings.

South African stocks have been supported during the quarter by a rally in gold and platinum companies, as an index of gold stocks climbed for the eighth consecutive quarter, the longest-ever such winning streak.

On the day, however, gold miners were a major drag on the market, with the sector index tumbling 2.9%, the most in almost two weeks, as gold headed for the largest monthly decline since November 2016 because the dollar’s rally eroded the metal’s haven appeal.

AngloGold Ashanti  fell 2.7%, Gold Fields dropped 2.9% and Harmony Gold Mining lost 3.2%.

Capitec’s 5.5% advance lifted the index for bank stocks, which rose 0.6%. Nedbank Group gained 1.8% and Absa Group added 0.4%, but FirstRand fell 1% and Standard Bank 0.4%.

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