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South African shares tumble amid oil crash and coronavirus fears

Chemical and energy firm Sasol led a race to the bottom on Monday (March 9) as South African stocks plunged to a more than four-year low.

Shares in Sasol itself sank more than 44% to a six-and-a-half year low amid a global sell-off in riskier assets.

That came after oil prices plummeted by as much as a third on Monday as Saudi Arabia and Russia indicated they both intend to hike crude production whilst maintaining or cutting prices in a market already awash with oil.

But the decline in the Johannesburg All-Share Index and Top 40 Index was also compounded by fears that the impact from the fast-spreading coronavirus will intensify.

South Africa confirmed its first case on Thursday (March 5) - and by the weekend officials had announced two further cases.

Mining stocks also took a hit as silver, palladium, platinum and gold prices fell and the mining index slumped over seven percent.