THE JSE ended fairly flat on Tuesday, giving away earlier gains after US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke gave no indication of taking further steps to stimulate the world's largest economy.

At 5pm local time, the JSE all-share index was down 0,06% at 33706,57 points, with gold miners losing 1,38%. Platinum shares added 0,4%, but resources shed 0,61%.

Financials were flat (-0,01%), banking stocks rose 0,21% and industrials gained 0,26%.

The rand was trading at R8,22 to the dollar, unchanged from the JSE's close on Monday, while gold changed hands at $1576,15 a troy ounce from $1591,69/oz at the close. Platinum was quoted at $1411,70/oz, from $1417,50/oz previously.

"The markets expected more definitive action from the US Fed chairman to lift the US economy," said David Shapiro, director at Sasfin Securities. "Investors are, as a result, left with nothing to build their positions on."

European markets also lost ground in late trade, with the UK's FTSE 100 down 0,55%.

Mr Bernanke struck a more negative tone in describing the US economic outlook in testimony prepared for the Senate banking committee, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0,28% at 5.26pm South African time.

mahlangua@bdfm.co.za