The JSE slid to a three-week closing low on Thursday‚ while the platinum spot price dipped below US$1400 an ounce level for first time in six months‚ piling pressure on the platinum sector.
Aquarius Platinum (AQP) tumbled almost 10 percent to an all-time-closing low.
The euro area debt concerns dominated investor sentiment‚ as European leaders gathered for the two-day summit to tackle regions’ crises.
At 17:00 local time‚ the JSE all-share index was down 1.47 percent at 33‚252.55 points‚ with resources losing 1.06 percent‚ gold shares sliding 1.18 percent and platinum counters dropping 1.78 percent.
Financials lost 1.48 percent‚ banking stocks were down 2.35 percent and industrials were 1.68 percent in the red.
The rand weakened to 8.43 to the US dollar‚ from 8.39 at JSE’s close on Wednesday‚ while gold was quoted at US$1‚553.25 a troy ounce from US$1‚571.46/oz at the JSE’s previous close and platinum was at $1‚395.70/oz‚ from $1‚410.50/oz previously‚ the lowest level since December last year.
“Reports that investment bank JP Morgan Chase’s trading losses might have been higher than initially reported in recent weeks added to investor nerves‚” said Ryan Wibberley‚ equity dealer at Investec Asset Management.
“The eurozone consumer and business confidence data have added to the negative market sentiment‚” said Kevin Algeo‚ market analyst at Imara SP Reid.
“Banking shares continue to feel pressure due to Absa’s profit warning this week‚” Algeo added.
Businesses and consumers in the 17 countries that use the euro became more pessimistic about their prospects in June as the currency area’s fiscal and banking crisis deepened‚ with sentiment weakening significantly in France‚ Germany and the Netherlands‚ Dow Jones Newswires reported.
European shares were sharply weaker‚ with London’s FTSE down 1.46 percent in late trade. The Dow lost had lost 1.25 percent by 16:47 local time.