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South African stocks book biggest drop in 6 weeks, track global markets

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's main stock index booked its biggest daily percentage decline in more than a month on Wednesday, tracking global markets as anxiety from a sell-off in global government bonds spread to equities.

U.S and European bonds were sold off due to a stand-off between Greece and its lenders as well as worse than expected U.S private jobs data.

That led to sell-off in gold and platinum but was not enough to drag down Brent crude and iron ore.

Shares in Africa's biggest gold company AngloGold Ashanti fell 3.6 percent to 135.50 rand while smaller rival Gold Fields lost 6.4 percent to 50.96 rand. In the biggest daily percentage drop in six weeks, the benchmark Top-10 index shed 1.25 percent to 47,707 and the broader All-Share index fell 1.33 percent to 53,848. "We've had some terrible numbers out of the States in the last couple of days, and I think that contributes to unsettling the market," said Paul Chakaduka, a trader at Global Trader.

On the flip side, Calgro M3 Holdings jumped 6.8 percent after the firm flagged a 32 percent jump in full-year headline earnings. Petrochemicals firm Sasol, which makes fuel from coal, tracked a rise in the oil price by adding 0.98 percent to 486 rand. Similarly a climb in the iron ore price saw shares in Kumba Iron Ore add 0.9 percent to 185.76 rand.

Trading was active with 233 million shares changing hands, compared to last year's daily average of 183 million.