Cheerier European markets and hopes that the US will follow suit later in the day have ushered local counters well off their worst levels of the day on Wednesday.
At 12.02pm local time the JSE all share index had pulled off early morning losses of close to 100 points to a loss of 23 points, or -0.09%. Gold miners were up 0.88% and platinum counters by 1.04%. The resources index lost 0.05%, while banks were unchanged and financials off by 0.05%. Industrials were down by 0.19%. Gold was quoted at $1,244.80 a troy ounce from $1,234.90/oz at the JSE's previous close, while platinum was at $1,543.00/oz from $1,543.50/oz at the JSE's last close.
A local equities dealer said that while the picture remained a little mixed, with Dow futures trying to gain ground, but Asia and the Dow down, there were signs of interest emerging.
A decidedly negative global backdrop had led to local counters free-falling close to 600 points on Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average posted its second-lowest close this year and its biggest one-day drop since June 4.
Heavyweight Anglo American was a few rand down in early trade, but by noon was only off by 50 cents at R276.50. Sasol, too, was off by 50 cents in early trade, but had turned this into a gain of 30 cents by noon at R280.30. BHP Billiton, however, reflected the two-faced nature of the trade as it turned a loss of 89 cents in early trade into one of 155 cents by noon at R204.34.