The JSE closed marginally weaker on the continued uncertainty in the eurozone.
The local bourse slipped into negative territory at noon on Friday giving up earlier gains as the retreat in general mining shares weighed on the all-share index.
The lingering EU debt crisis deepened after the leaders of the 27-member European Union ended their one-day meeting on Wednesday apparently with no resolution to fixing the financial crisis or determining how to deal with the growing possibility that Greece could be forced to exit the eurozone.
Emerging markets including the JSE have been under pressure this month on the Greece worries particularly if parties opposed to further austerity measures gather more support in next months election.
At 17:02 local time the JSE all-share index was down 0.16 percent to 32992.25 points with the gold index losing 0.30 percent platinum shares giving up 1.14 percent and resource counters retreating 0.70 percent.
Financials slipped 0.06 percent as banking stocks gave up 0.16 percent while industrials added 0.14 percent.
The rand was trading at 8.36 to the US dollar from 8.35 at the JSE's close on Thursday while gold was quoted at US$1565.01 a troy ounce from US$1558.25/oz at the JSE's previous close and platinum was at $1423.00/oz from $1418.00/oz at the previous session.
The markets have been very volatile driven by the uncertainty in Europe. As we head into the weekend any news flow from the eurozone is likely to move the markets said a local trader.
US stocks opened lower as a negative turn in European markets put investors in a cautious mood ahead of consumer-sentiment data and the long holiday weekend reported Dow Jones Newswires
The News wires reported that gold futures prices ticked higher on Friday as traders closed out bets on lower prices ahead of a holiday weekend in the US with some more comfortable sticking to the sidelines to avoid losses should there be a new development in Europe's debt crisis.
The most actively traded gold contract for June delivery was recently up $6.40 or 0.4 percent at $1563.90 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Currency markets had a steadier tone on Friday with some investors paring their bearish bets on the euro amid steady government bond markets in some of Europe's more debt-heavy countries. That helped ease the pressure on the gold market.
The recent escalation in Europe's debt crisis has slammed gold prices sending futures last week to a 10-month low. Investors seeking safety from a potential banking crisis in the event that Greece exits the European currency union have chosen the US dollar in turn making dollar-denominated gold appear more expensive for buyers using other currencies.
But the euro was recently little changed against the US dollar rebounding after earlier touching the lowest point against the dollar in almost two years.
With a US holiday on Monday we expect a slow day in gold analysts with TD Securities said in a note. "The absence of negative headlines from (Wednesday's European Union) summit has somewhat stabilised markets in the near term although uncertainty prevails."
Comex floor trading is closed on Monday for the US Memorial Day holiday.
Futures prices rose Thursday for the first time in four sessions as some traders saw a bargain in the precious metal's recent declines.
On the JSE Anglo American (AGL) was down R3.11 or 1.17 percent to R261.89 BHP Billiton (BIL) lost 90 cents to R225.85 and Sasol (SOL) was down R2.42 to R353.58.
AngloGold Ashanti (ANG) was down R1.90 to R300while Gold Fields (GFI) added 4 cents to R110.10 and Harmony Gold Mining (HAR) shed 17 cents to R81.87
Impala Platinum (IMP) lost R1.50 or 1.11 percent to R133.90 and Aquarius lost 30 cents or 3.26 percent to R8.90.
Pan Africa Resources (PAN) lost R1.97 or 2.03 percent to R2.01.
Tongaat (TON) dropped R2.69 or 2.40 percent to R109.31 and Tiger Brands (TBS) shed R6.30 or 2.49 percent to R246.70.
In technology stocks Datatec (DTC) lost 95 cents or 2.12 percent to R43.90.