The JSE gave up more than 430 points, or 1.65% on Wednesday, owing to a host of factors led by worse than expected jobs data out of the US, continuing uncertainty in Europe, and a possible economic slowdown in China.
At its close, the JSE all share index had shed 1.65%, with platinum counters down by 2.17% and the resources index lost 1.97%, but Gold miners added 0.37%. Banks surrendered 2.47% and financials were off by 1.84%. Industrials were down by 1.23%. Gold was quoted at $1,238.20/oz from $1,234.90/oz at the JSE's previous close, while platinum was at $1,528.50/oz from $1,543.50/oz at the JSE's last close.
A local trader said: "We saw worse than expected jobs data out of the US, while the European crisis continues, and there is also talk of a slowdown in the Chinese economy. Along with the consumer confidence data out on Tuesday, these factors are all putting pressure on global markets. Thursday of course, sees some big figures out with nonfarms jobless data expected in the US. Markets are jittery ahead of these stats, and we have seen some uncertainty holding investors back," he said.
Dow Jones Newswires reported that a disappointing report on private-sector jobs hurt US stocks Wednesday morning, but the major indexes had small gains as the European Central Bank eased investors' concerns about European banks.
Private-sector jobs in the US increased by 13 000 last month, according to a national employment report published by payroll giant Automatic Data Processing Inc. and consultancy Macroeconomic Advisers. Economists had expected ADP to report a jobs gain of 60 000 for June.
Asian stock markets ended mostly lower Wednesday, as worries over a possible Chinese economic slowdown and the impact of the yen's recent strength dampened confidence and prompted a further sell-off in banks and exporters.