The reception area of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. File picture: Leon Nicholas

Johannesburg - South Africa's benchmark Top-40 index slides 1.7 percent, sending it below the psychologically important 40,000 mark for the first time this year, as investors hammer mining companies and retailers in a continuing retreat from emerging markets around the globe.

Platinum miners such as Anglo American Platinum are among the hardest hit on concerns about labour unrest in the industry. - Reuters