South African stock prices edged lower on Friday, concluding the worst quarterly performance for over a year, as concerns about the euro zone debt crisis weighed on resource companies and others sensitive to global demand.
ArcelorMittal South Africa, the local unit of the global steelmaker, was one of the worst performers during the quarter, dropping nearly 25 percent, on worries a global slowdown would blunt demand for steel.
So much for the end of September. The reality of underlying market conditions are really setting in at the moment and guys seem exceptionally nervous at this stage, said Nilan Morar, head of trading at Global Trader.
In the short term you could see some relief rallies across the markets ... But I think the fundamental pressure that plagues the market is still there.
The Top-40 share index finished the day down 0.11 percent at 26,375.82 to register a 4.7 percent fall for the month and 7.6 percent drop in the last three months, its biggest quarterly decline since the second quarter of 2010.
The broader All-Share index finished the day down 0.05 percent at 29,674.20.
The Johannesburg-listed shares of luxury goods group Richemont, the maker of Mont Blanc pens and Cartier watches, fell 5.6 percent to 36.05 rand after data showed that China's manufacturing sector contracted for a third straight month in September, fuelling concerns for a market that has been a major revenue driver for Richemont.
Conversely Johannesburg's gold mining index rose 4.3 percent on Friday, as investors piled into the sector, attracted by relatively low prices, a weak local currency and bullion's safe haven status.
Harmony Gold climbed 5.2 percent to 95.35 rand and AngloGold Ashanti, Africa's biggest gold producer, gained 4.3 percent to 338.90 rand.
A total of 135 companies advanced, while 134 declined and 62 were flat. Total traded volume was 252.5 million shares, according to the latest exchange data available at 1518 GMT, from 228 million on Thursday.