Johannesburg - South African stocks slipped on Thursday, tracking global equities on worries about slowing growth in China and Europe, while concerns about the impact of labour unrest hit platinum firms Lonmin and Anglo American Platinum.
The stock market largely shrugged off the central bank's decision - which was widely expected - to keep its benchmark rate steady at five percent.
Nagging concern about ongoing strikes in the platinum industry continued to undermine investor sentiment. News of slowing economic growth in China, worsening business conditions in Europe and weak manufacturing activity in the United States added to the bearish mood in Johannesburg.
“We have seen agreements being signed and all sorts of things, but the next thing you hear is a strike in another mine,” said Ferdi Heyneke, a portfolio manager at Afrifocus Securities.
The JSE All-share index retreated 0.28 percent to 36,359.98 and the benchmark JSE Top-40 index lost 0.35 percent to 32,081.36. Both indexes have hit record highs in recent sessions, lifted in part by global central bank stimulus.
Lonmin, the world's No.3 platinum producer, slumped 6.3 percent to R87.80, as investors worried about the impact on profits from its hefty wage deal with miners.
Thousands of miners reported for work at Lonmin's Marikana mine on Thursday after the company promised wage increases of up to 22 percent to end nearly six weeks of labour unrest.
Rival Amplats also dropped as the world top producer of the white metal admitted it has been badly hit by an illegal strike at its Rustenburg operations.
Amplats lost 1.32 percent to R454.99 after giving more than 80 percent of its workers in Rustenburg until a Thursday night shift to show up at work or face consequences.
Telkom gave up 5.5 percent to R20.50 after the struggling telecoms firm warned that first-half profit fell by at least 65 percent, hit by a $55-million fine from the country's competition watchdog.
Steinhoff fell 3.2 percent to R27.13 after the furniture maker and retailer said it would issue 400-million euros convertible bonds.
Boosted by its inclusion to the JSE's blue chip index from next week, retailer Mr Price jumped 4.8 percent to R121.27.
Trade was active, with 305-million shares changing hands, boosted by a futures closeout. Decliners outnumbered advancers 148 to 143. - Reuters