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

Banking and financial stocks led the JSE lower during the opening session on Monday‚ with consolidation leaving the all share index struggling to maintain gains above 38‚000 despite generally positive trading in Asia.

At 9.31am‚ the all share index was down 0.40% to 38‚041.60 points‚ with the top 40 index giving back 0.51% to 33‚737.44 points. The banking and financial indices were 0.92% and 0.72% softer‚ respectively.

“Chinese figures ... have largely confirmed that the economy is picking up speed again‚” RMB analysts said in a note.

A raft of economic data released at the weekend indicated an improvement in Asia’s largest economy‚ Dow Jones Newswires reported. China posted its highest industrial production numbers since March — growth of 10.1% year on year in November‚ compared with economists’ median forecast of 9.8%.

Among Asian bourses‚ Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was up 0.29%.

On the JSE‚ Anglo American (AGL) was down 0.67% at R250.55 but Lonmin (LON) had risen 1.90% to R39.69.

Absa (ASA) was down 1.83% at R150.93‚ Abil (ABL) had slid 3.72% to R29.29 and Investec (INP) was off 2.49% to R53.63.

Retailer Mr Price (MPC) shed 2.09% to R138.80. - I-Net Bridge