The JSE. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi.

The JSE was trading lower on Tuesday morning‚ with banking and financial counters leading the upside and platinums the main losers on the back of mining woes in the sector.

At 9.32am the JSE all-share index was 0.54% softer at 35‚332.08 points‚ while banks gained 0.58% and financials up 0.33%‚ while platinums were 2.15% in the red.

“There are two major risk events this week‚ with the German court voting on the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the US Federal Reserve’s announcement with regards to monetary easing on Thursday‚” a local trader said.

Rand Merchant Bank said in its morning note that the post-European Central Bank risk-on rally had run out of momentum‚ with investors locking in profits ahead of the Fed’s meeting on Thursday.

“The dollar/rand reached as low as 8.13 but has reverted towards 8.20 and mild upside pressures remain. Moves will remain limited until the German Constitutional Court decision tomorrow‚ or even right until the Fed announcement on Thursday evening‚” the bank said

“European political noises are continuing in the background with German Chancellor Angela Merkel trying to keep her party behind the ECB decision and the Greeks are attempting to convince their sceptical creditors that they are implementing the required austerity measures‚” it said.

Among individual JSE counters that made moves‚ Anglo American (AGL) shed 2.77% to R253.90 and Sasol (SOL) lost 1.14% to R379.30.

Platinum miner Impala Platinum (IMP) dropped 2.87% to R141.37 after it confirmed on Tuesday morning that it had received a wage demand from the Interim Workers Committee (IWC) at Impala Rustenburg.

The company said a wage increase was implemented at the end of April 2012‚ which formed part of the settlement to resolve industrial action.

“Despite clear commitments from all parties to uphold the settlement‚ the IWC has now demanded that the company implement the same increase again for the second year of the 2011-12 wage agreement‚” Implats said on Tuesday. “These increases have already been implemented and were brought forward by a period of two months to April 2012 as a gesture of goodwill.”

Other platinum miners also fell‚ with Anglo American Platinum off 1.61% at R429.00‚ Lonmin losing 1.77% to R79.17 and Northam dropping 1.34% to R33.05.

Among banking counters FirstRand (FSR) added 0.73% to R27.45 after it reported on Tuesday morning a 26% jump in diluted headline earnings per share for the year ended June 2012 to 226.9 cents. Rand Merchant Bank Holdings (RMH) gained 0.47% to R36.16. - I-Net Bridge