19/04/2010 A generic pic of the JSE board at Sandton JHB. Photo: Leon Nicholas

The JSE began the third quarter on a weak note on Monday‚ with last week’s euphoria associated with the European Union summit deal appearing to lose steam.

At 09:22 local time‚ the JSE all-share index was down 0.42% to 33‚566.37 points‚ with resources losing 0.78%‚ gold shares shedding 0.94% and platinum counters giving up 1.64%.

Financials slipped 0.13%‚ with banking stocks down 0.11% and industrials 0.24% in the red.

The rand was trading at 8.17 to the US dollar‚ from 8.18 at the JSE’s close on Friday‚ while gold was quoted at US$1‚591.68 a troy ounce from US$1‚596.53/oz at the JSE’s previous close and platinum was at $1‚438/oz‚ from $1‚425.70/oz previously.

“Commodity prices have come off a little bit due to China’s disappointing manufacturing data this morning. Mining shares have pulled back as a result‚” said Michele Santangelo‚ portfolio manager at stockbrokerage‚ Newstrading.

European stocks started mildly higher‚ with London’s FTSE 100 index was up 0.14%.

Investors are looking ahead to a packed week of economic data for Europe and the US that will likely help carve out direction for markets.

Data due this week include the purchasing managers index (PMI) for the eurozone and US nonfarm payrolls data on Friday.

Asian markets etched out small gains as a rally in commodity stocks was slightly offset by continued weakness in the Chinese manufacturing sector‚ Dow Jones Newswires reported.

The official Chinese PMI‚ released at the weekend‚ was 50.2. Though the figure was just above 50‚ indicating a small increase in manufacturing activity‚ it was the worst figure since November.

The rival HSBC PMI‚ which focuses more on small and medium companies than the official data‚ came out Monday morning and showed a weakening in June to 48.2‚ suggesting a contraction in activity‚ from 48.4 in May.

Japan’s Nikkei ended the session flat.

On the JSE‚ Anglo American (AGL) was down R2.04 to R269.26‚ BHP Billiton (BIL) shed R3‚ or 1.28%‚ to R232‚ while Sasol (SOL) garnered R2.99 to R345.39.

AngloGold Ashanti (ANG) was down R2 to R277‚ Gold Fields (GFI) slipped R1.02 to R102.83 and Harmony Gold Mining (HAR) gave up R1.30‚ or 1.70%‚ to R75.20.

In platinum stocks‚ Anglo American Platinum (AMS) was down R5.22‚ or 1.08%‚ to R479.57‚ Impala Platinum (IMP) lost R3.57‚ or 2.64%‚ to R131.68‚ but Northam Platinum (NHM) gained 75 cents‚ or 3.23%‚ to R24.

Among other miners‚ African Rainbow Minerals (ARI) shed R1.90‚ or 1.14%‚ to R164.12.

In industrials‚ AECI (AFE) was up 80 cents‚ or 1%‚ to R80.55

Among banks and financials‚ Nedbank (NED) slipped R1.08 to R172.81 while Absa (ASA) was down R1.20 to R140. - I-Net Bridge