THE JSE extended its losses in late trade on Thursday as market players positioned themselves for eagerly awaited China second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data due out on Friday.

The resources sector led the downside, with Exxaro Resources having slumped 17,73% since last Friday.

At 5pm local time, the JSE all-share index ended down 0,99% at 33390,52 points, with resources losing 1,35%, gold shares shedding 0,47% and platinum counters giving up 0,40%.

Financials were off 0,52%, banking stocks eased 0,67% and industrials were down 0,99%.

The rand weakened to R8,36 to the dollar, from R8,23 at the JSE's close on Wednesday, while gold changed hands at $1559,05 a troy ounce (oz) from $1576,45/oz at the close. Platinum was quoted at $1410/oz, from $1423,70/oz previously.

"Volumes are concentrated in very few shares, such as Richemont, with no real conviction around. Equity markets are positioning themselves for China's second-quarter GDP on Friday," said Ryan Wibberley, equity dealer at Investec Asset Management.

China is one of the biggest consumers of South Africa's raw materials.

Across the Atlantic, US stocks extended their longest slump in nearly two months as mounting concerns about corporate earnings and a global economic slowdown overshadowed better-than-expected domestic jobs data.

Dow Jones Newswires reported that investors were shrugging off a US Labour Department report showing that the number of workers filing for jobless benefits last week fell more than economists expected, to the lowest level in more than four years.

The drop could offer hope that the labour market might be slowly improving. The decrease could also, however, be due to other factors, such as fewer vehicle factories shutting down in July.

European stocks remained soft in late trade, with London's FTSE 100 down 0,73%.

mahlangua@bdfm.co.za