The JSE ended weaker on Monday for the third straight session, with political uncertainty in Europe weighing on market sentiment.
The local exchange however finished well off the session lows, in line with main European stock market indices.
At 17:00 local time, the JSE all-share index was down 0.50 percent to 33,956.08 points, with resources losing 0.85 percent, platinum miners shedding 0.41 percent, while gold counters ended flat (0.06 percent).
Financials lost 0.66 percent, banking stocks were down 0.81 percent and industrials slipped 0.23 percent.
The rand was trading at 7.82 to the US dollar, from 7.81 at JSE's close on Friday. Gold was quoted at US$1,633.76 a troy ounce from US$1,633.96/oz at the JSE's previous close, while platinum was at $1,523.50/oz, from $1,523.70/oz at the previous session.
"We have been fairly resilient on the whole, relative to our international peers. In the short term at least, I expect political uncertainty in Europe to keep financial markets on the back foot," said Sudheer Singh, a trader at Sasfin Securities.
US stocks inched lower on Monday after weekend elections in Europe ushered in political uncertainty that investors worry could affect the region's ability to deal with its ongoing debt issues, Dow Jones Newswires reported.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.41 percent to 12,985.22 points at 16:48 local time.
In Europe, share markets wiped out sharp loses to trade higher as investors came to grips with the political uncertainty stirred by the weekend elections in France and Greece.
The DAX in Germany was down 0.11 percent to 582.92 points. UK markets were closed for a public holiday.
In France, socialist party candidate Francois Hollande was elected president, ousting conservative incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy. Hollande will challenge the approach, pushed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, that spending cuts are the main remedy to the eurozone's sovereign debt woes.
In Greece, the two mainstream parties, the conservative New Democracy party and the Socialist Pasok party, and the austerity policies they backed, received less than a third of the votes combined.
On the JSE, Anglo American (AGL) dipped R3, or 1.05 percent, to R283.50, BHP Billiton (BIL) lost R2.28 to R239.82 and Sasol (SOL) shed R4.78, or 1.33 percent, to R354.22.
AngloGold Ashanti (ANG) slipped 91 cents to R258.59 but Gold Fields (GFI) was up 63 cents to R100.15.
Impala Platinum (IMP) shed R1.89, or 1.29 percent, to R144.30 but Aquarius Platinum (AQP) lifted 45 cents, or 2.94 percent to R15.75.
Among other miners, Assore (ASR) gained R5.10, or 2.01 percent, to 258.60.
In industrials Barloworld (BAW) was down R1.30, or 1.33 percent, to R96.20 and Tiger Brands (TBS) lost R2.89, or 1 percent, to R287.01.
Among banks, Nedbank (NED) shaved off R2.99, or 1.71 percent, to R171.61 and Abil (ABL) dipped 56 cents, or 1.43 percent, to R38.53.
Among companies in focus, Village Main Reef (VIL) was up 11 cents or 7.05 percent, to R1.67.
The mining and exploration company's gold production declined to 1,237kg in the quarter ended March 2012 - a seasonally weak production quarter - from 1,388kg for the quarter ended December 2011. The stock broker said the share price reacted positively because market players had already factored in bad news in the gold sector.
Esorfranki (ESR) gained six cents, or 4.14 percent, to R1.51.