The JSE tracked global markets lower on Thursday, and was down more than 1% in the first half hour of trade as concerns lingered over the Greek debt crisis and possible contagion.
Overnight the Dow Jones industrial average was down 58.6 points and this morning Asian markets were lower too. By 09:24 the JSE all share index was off 1.08%, led by a 1.55% loss for resources, with gold miners 1.02% softer and platinum miners 1.78% weaker. Banks were off 0.98%, financials shed 1.04% and industrials were 0.71% lower.
Gold was quoted at $1,174.49 from $1,172.29/oz at the JSE's last close. Platinum was at $1,663.00/oz from $1,650/oz at the JSE's last close.
Dow Jones Newswires reported most Asian markets were sharply lower Thursday on increasing concerns over the spreading debt crisis in Europe, with Japanese exporters with high exposure to Europe taking a hit from the euro's weakness.
Investors were spooked by riots in Greece in protests against austerity measures, and a warning by Moody's Investors Service on Wednesday that it could cut Portugal's Aa2 sovereign rating by up to two notches further heightened fears about contagion to the rest of Europe.
Japan's Nikkei 225 dropped 3.27% on reopening after a three-day holiday, while China's Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.7 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slipped 1.8%.