THE JSE rallied in late Friday afternoon trade, paring some earlier losses after US job growth in November was better than expected and the unemployment rate declined. This led to more upbeat global sentiment and risk-on trade.

The US added 146,000 jobs last month, the Labour Department reported, up from a downwardly revised 138,000 in October. Economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast a median 80,000 new payrolls in November. The unemployment rate dropped to 7.7% from 7.9%, compared with economists' predictions for it to remain unchanged.

On the local front the JSE all share index closed 0.24% down to 38,195.89 points, with the top 40 index giving back 0.29% to 33,909.68 points. Resources and platinums were the main laggards down 0.68% and 0.55% respectively.

European markets were trading mostly higher, after the US labour data. However Germany's central bank cut its growth outlook for the country’s economy in 2012 and next year, dampening the positive sentiment a bit. At 4.47pm local time the UK FTSE 100 index was 0.20% higher and the Dow Jones Industrial index was 0.37% firmer at 13,122.65 points.

"Most metals were lower today due to the appreciation in the rand overnight. The markets were nervous before the release of the US data, but are now trading firmer," said Robby Pietropaolo, trader at Vunani Private Clients.

Among individual shares on the JSE, Lonmin lost 1.77% to R38.95, while Harmony added 2.07% to R66.55.

ArcelorMittal dipped 2.89% to R28.89 and Exxaro gave back 2.52% to R155.80.

In banking Absa added 2.84% to R153.75.

Construction company Group Five surged 5.62% to R28.57 and PPC gained 1.36% to R30.61.