In South Africa Gold Fields FY earnings halve on soft bullion prices

The spot price of gold was volatile last year as markets speculated on U.S. interest rate increases which dented the appeal of non-interest yielding bullion.

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A mine worker is seen underground in South Deep mine outside Johannesburg June 4,2010. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko play A mine worker is seen underground in South Deep mine outside Johannesburg June 4,2010. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko (Reuters)
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South Africa's Gold Fields on Thursday posted a 47 percent decline in full-year earnings due to falling bullion prices and impairments.

Normalised earnings for the year to December fell to $45 million from $85 million a year earlier, the company said in a statement.

The spot price of gold was volatile last year as markets speculated on U.S. interest rate increases which dented the appeal of non-interest yielding bullion.

Gold fell $250 per ounce last year, peaking at $1,300 per ounce. South African producers are slightly cushioned by a decline in the rand as they earn in dollars while paying costs in the local currency.

Gold Fields- Africa's second biggest bullion producer by market value- booked impairments on the value of investments and its mines in Ghana and Australia.

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