The JSE came under pressure at its opening on Monday as it tried to find direction amid the looming negative global sentiment.
By 9.30am the JSE all share index was down 0.72%, with resources 1.13% lower, platinum miners lost 1.30%, and gold miners dropped 0.46%. Banks slipped 0.40%, financials dropped 0.38%, as did industrials, which were 0.47% lower. Gold was quoted at $1,177.18/oz from $1,176.65/oz at the JSE's last close. Platinum was at $1,730.50/oz from $1,736/oz at the JSE's last close.
"The mining royalty tax placed on miners in Australia hit commodity stocks that are listed Down Under," a trader said. Mining stocks in Australia dropped sharply Monday after the government said on Sunday it would introduce a 40% tax on the profits earned from resources that are owned by "all Australians," beginning on July 1, 2012.
According to Market Watch, the Australian government announced the tax as part of a larger taxation-reform plan that it expects will strengthen the economy and make the system "fairer and simpler" for Australia's working families and businesses.
With the UK market closed for a holiday on Monday and the European markets likely to open lower, the local bourse is "likely to see light trade and a general weak undertone" for the remainder of the day.
US stock futures are slightly higher on Monday, after markets tumbled Friday, led by financial stocks including JP Morgan and Bank of America, following the report of a criminal probe into Goldman Sachs.
Asian stock markets were lower Monday, weighed by Wall Street's losses on Friday.
On the JSE, Anglo slipped 45 cents to R317 while BHP Billiton fell R5.90 or 2.57% to R223.50 as commodity stocks listed in Australia were hit by news of a new mine tax. Sasol gained R1.26 to trade at R302.26.