The JSE ended flat on Thursday amid lacklustre trade, particularly in the afternoon session as investors "put their foot on the break" ahead of nonfarm payrolls data due Friday in the US, a local trader said.
The JSE all share index dipped into the red at close, down 0.04%, with gold shares 0.22% lower. Resources were flat, and platinum counters edged up 0.19%. Banks eked out a gain of 0.03%, financials added 0.24%, but industrials declined 0.23%. Gold was quoted at $1,191.09/oz from $1,199.70/oz at the JSE's previous close, while platinum was at $1,566/oz from $1,586.50/oz before.
A local trader said: "We saw relative strength on the bourse earlier on after some encouraging data out of the UK, with gold and platinum also strong. Rio delivered decent earnings, but then investors appeared to put their foot on the break in the afternoon, ahead of nonfarms tomorrow."
Dow Jones newswires reports that stocks fell Thursday as tepid retail sales and an unexpected rise in weekly jobless claims added to investors' worries a day ahead of the government's monthly jobs report.
Asian shares were mostly higher on Thursday with Japanese automakers driving the Tokyo market after Toyota posted stellar quarterly earnings and delivered a bullish outlook.
On the JSE, Anglo American Plc dropped 240 cents to R297.20, but BHP Billiton added 68 cents to R232.47. Sasol gained R2 to R295.