THE JSE slid to a three-week closing low on Thursday, while the platinum spot price dipped below $1400 an ounce level for first time in six months, piling pressure on the platinum sector.

Aquarius Platinum tumbled almost 10% to an all-time-closing low.

Eurozone debt concerns dominated investor sentiment as European leaders gathered for a two-day summit to tackle the region's multiple crises.

At 5pm local time, the JSE all-share index was down 1,47% at 33252,55 points, with resources losing 1,06%, gold shares sliding 1,18% and platinum counters dropping 1,78%.

Financials lost 1,48%, banking stocks were down 2,35% and industrials were 1,68% in the red.

The rand weakened to R8,43 to the dollar from R8,39 at JSE's close on Wednesday, while gold was quoted at $1553,25 a troy ounce from $1571,46/oz at the JSE's previous close. Platinum was at $1395,70/oz from $1410,50/oz previously, the lowest level since December last year.

"Reports that investment bank JPMorgan 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, adding that banking shares continued to feel pressure due to Absa's profit warning this week.

Businesses and consumers in the 17 countries that use the euro became more pessimistic about the regions prospects in June.

Sentiment weakened significantly in France, Germany and the Netherlands as fiscal and banking crises deepened, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

European shares were sharply weaker, with London's FTSE down 1,46% in late trade. The Dow lost had lost 1,25% by 4.47pm local time.

mahlangua@bdfm.co.za