In South African MTN, Sasol pull down country's stocks

Mobile operator MTN gets most of its revenue and profit from oil-rich Nigeria and has a large business in Iran. Consumers in those markets could be hit by the lower oil price, said Davies.

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A worker walks past an electronic board displaying movements in major indices, at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Sandton, February 12, 2015. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko play A worker walks past an electronic board displaying movements in major indices, at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Sandton, February 12, 2015. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
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South African stocks ended lower on Friday, pulled down by bourse heavyweights Sasol and MTN.

"The oil price coming down hit both Sasol and MTN," said Greg Davies, equities trader at Cratos Capital.

Mobile operator MTN gets most of its revenue and profit from oil-rich Nigeria and has a large business in Iran. Consumers in those markets could be hit by the lower oil price, said Davies.

Petrochemical giant Sasol dropped 2.69 percent to 413.93 rand and MTN shed 3.08 percent to close on 196.99 rand after Brent crude fell 3 percent over the last two trading days and U.S. prices hit a 6-1/2-year low.

The bourse was further weighed down by gold miners and steelmaker ArcelorMittal.

Shares in Sibanye Gold fell to their lowest level this year and closed at 14.08 rand, down 8.27 percent. The industry's largest trade unions said on Thursday they wanted wage negotiations to go to a government mediator after rejecting the gold producers' offer.

Harmony Gold was down 3.23 percent on 12.58 rand and AngloGold Ashanti shed 2.89 percent to 80.59 rand.

ArcelorMittal was one of the biggest losers on the bourse, dropping 9.42 percent to 14.04 rand.

Only five of the stocks on the benchmark JSE Top-40 index closed in the black, with furniture group Steinhoff International making a modest gain of 0.48 percent to 77.60 rand.

The Top-40 index was down 1.17 percent at 45,341.19 and the broader All-share index shed 1.08 percent to 50,821.18 points.

Trading volumes were muted with less than 158 million shares changing hands, well below last year's daily average of 183 million.

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