THE JSE opened flat on Thursday morning, with retailers making gains, while all the mining indices were in the red due to concern that the shaft closure announcement by Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) and subsequent job losses could lead to further pressure on the industry.
Amplats miners went on strike on Tuesday night after the restructuring news but returned to work on Wednesday night, the National Union of Mineworkers said on Thursday.
Globally investors are waiting for Friday morning’s Chinese fourth-quarter gross domestic product data and December’s monthly data set, which will provide market direction.
At 9.37am‚ the all share index was flat, off just -0.09% at 39,844.71 points, with retailers adding 0.45%, while gold and platinum counters gave back 0.54% and 0.45% respectively. Resources lost 0.37%.
In the East Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed 0.48% lower and the Hong Kong Hang Seng index was trading 0.2% softer at 9.21am local time.
International data had been relatively unexciting, Rand Merchant Bank said in a morning note.
"US inflation dropped to 1.7% year on year in December, safely below the 2% level that leads everyone to worry. US Federal Reserve hawks are not impressed and continue their media blitz warning about the dangers of quantitative easing. US industrial production jumped a decent 0.3% in the month, which was expected," RMB said.
Among individual shares on the JSE, Anglo American shed 1.26% to close at R266.38.
Anglo American Platinum dipped by 1.17% to R452.82 and Aquarius slumped 4.75% to R9.83.
AngloGold Ashanti dropped 1.34% to R257.49.
ArcelorMittal gave back 2.7% to R36.08 and Coal of Africa shed 6.14% to R2.75.