S.African stocks end flat as miners lose ground
* All-share index off 0.06 pct at 36,247.91
* Top-40 index down 0.02 pct at 32,020.55
JOHANNESBURG, Oct 2 (Reuters) - South African stocks ended flat on Tuesday, as sharp losses in strike-hit mining companies such as Anglo American Platinum offset big gains by Mr Price and other retailers.
Retailers, among the top performer on the benchmark index so far this year, gained between 2-3 percent, powered by optimism about African expansion and as investors bet interest rates are likely to stay low, bolstering consumer spending.
"It looks like interest rates are going to stay at these low levels for much longer than expected," Deryck Janse van Rensberg, a portfolio manager at BoE Stockbrokers.
"These companies still deliver good growth and that has also attracted foreign investors who are seeing little growth in markets."
The JSE Top-40 index inched down 0.2 percent to 32,020.55 and the broader All-share index edged down 0.06 percent to 36,247.91 rand.
Mining companies, which recovered in the previous session, lost steam again on Tuesday, on renewed concerns about the impact of on-going labour unrest in the industry.
Anglo American Platinum, which is facing an illegal strike at four of its South African mines, dropped 3.8 percent to 424.25 rand, making it the worst performer on the benchmark index.
Gold Fields retreated 2 percent to 108.25 rand as rating agency Moodys' lowered its outlook to "stable" from "positive", citing concern about the impact of a wildcat strike at gold producer's mine.
Mr Price , a discount clothing retailer recently added to the JSE's blue-chip index, jumped 3.19 percent to 127.14, adding to the nearly 60 percent surge notched so far this year and stretching its price to earnings ratio to a lofty 26 times.
The Top-40 index is trading at just 14 times price to earnings.
Another clothes retailer, Truworths , closed 2.1 percent higher at 96.29 rand.
A total 160 million shares changed hands, with 170 companies gaining ground and another 125 losing value.
(Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing by David Dolan)
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Keywords: SAFRICA STOCKS/