GO
Loading...

S.Africa stocks down on strike, Pick n Pay surges

* All-share index off 0.35 pct at 36,120.45

* Top-40 index down 0.48 pct at 31,868.43

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 2 (Reuters) - South African stocks ended slightly lower on Wednesday, falling for a second day, with Kumba Iron Ore tumbling nearly 5 percent as wildcat strikes plaguing the mining industry spread to one of its mines.

Pick n Pay , South Africa's No.2 grocer, jumped 4.8 percent to 46.47 rand after it named the former UK head of Tesco

as its new chief executive, ending a roughly seven-month hunt for the a new CEO.

A wave of illegal mine strikes has been roiling Africa's biggest economy in recent weeks, hitting mining stocks on fears of production losses or expensive wage deals with striking workers.

About 20,000 truck drivers are also on strike for higher pay, disrupting the flow goods and threatening to leave fuel stations dry.

"We saw that the strike has now spread to Kumba and Harmony, and we still have truck drivers strike going on," said Thys van Zyl, a trader Thebe Securities.

"It's like a double whammy for mining shares because some depend on these trucks to deliver their commodities."

The blue chip JSE Top-40 index lost 0.48 percent to 31,868.43 and the broader All-share index shed 0.35 percent to 36,120.45.

Kumba, a unit of global mining giant Anglo American , dropped 4.8 percent to 477.91 rand, making it the biggest percentage decliner on the blue-chip index.

Africa's top iron ore producer said about 300 workers at its Sishen mine launched an illegal strike on Wednesday. Harmony Gold , the country No.3 gold miner, said workers at its Kusasalethu mine also unlawfully downed tools.

Shares of Harmony dropped 2.8 percent to 67.10 rand, failing to benefit from a bullion price that rose to near 11-month highs on Wednesday.

Major retailers bucked the trend for the second session running as investors bet on improved consumer spending and healthy returns from their expansion in the rest of Africa.

A total 140 million shares changed hands, with 166 companies gaining ground and another 137 losing value while 69 shares remained unchanged.

(Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing by David Dolan)

((tiisetso.motsoeneng@thomsonreuters.com)(+27 11 775 3122)(Reuters Messaging: tiisetso.motsoeneng.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: SAFRICA STOCKS/