Photo by Simphiwe Mbokazi.

The JSE struggled to find a clear path during its opening session on Friday‚ with the release of the US jobs report later in the session the main focus of investor attention.

At 09:23 local time‚ the JSE all-share index was up 0.27% at 34‚313.88 points‚ with resources flat (0.08%)‚ gold shares nudged up 0.16% and platinum counters were also flat (-0.08%).

Financials lifted 0.29%‚ banking stocks gained 0.31% and industrials firmed 0.38%.

The rand was trading at 8.17 to the US dollar‚ unchanged from the JSE's close on Thursday‚ while gold changed hands at US$1‚601.73 a troy ounce from US$1‚607.60/oz at the JSE's previous close and platinum was quoted at $1‚471.00/oz‚ from $1‚472.50/oz previously.

“We are not expecting drastic moves on the markets until after the release of the US nonfarm payrolls data‚” said Martin Strauss‚ equity dealer PSG Konsult.

European stocks started lower after action from a trio of global central banks on Thursday failed to support risk appetite‚ instead raising concern that the health of the global economy may be worse than thought‚ Dow Jones Newswires reported.

London's FTSE 100 index was down 0.31%.

On Thursday‚ the Bank of England increased its asset purchase programme by GBP50bn ($78bn) to GBP375bn. Almost immediately afterwards‚ the People's Bank of China cuts its benchmark one-year lending rate by 31 basis points to 6.0% and one-year deposit rate by 25 basis points to 3.0%.

The European Central Bank lowered its lending rate by 25 basis points to 0.75% as expected‚ but also cut its deposit rate by 25 basis points to zero‚ which was more of a surprise.

In Asia‚ Japan's Nikkei average ended the session 0.65% in the red‚ while the Hang Seng index was down 0.29% by 09:23 SA time.

On the JSE‚ Anglo American (AGL) was down 42 cents to R273‚ BHP Billiton (BIL) inched up three cents to R237.31 and Sasol (SOL) garnered R2.25 to R348.15.

AngloGold Ashanti (ANG) was up 67 cents to R281.43 and Gold Fields (GFI) gained 17 cents to R103.66.

In platinum stocks‚ Northam Platinum (NHM) lost 99 cents‚ or 4.13%‚ to R23.01 and Lonmin (LON) was down R1.21‚ or 1.29%‚ to R92.74.

Among other miners‚ Exxaro (EXX) shed 93 cents to R204.50.

In industrials‚ SAB (SAB) rose R3.13 to R335.75.

In telecoms‚ Telkom (TKG) lost 40 cents‚ or 2.14%‚ to 18.25.

Among banks and financials‚ Nedbank (NED) gained R1.22 to R177.23 and RMB Holdings (RMH) was up 39 cents‚ or 1.11% to R35.44. - I-Net Bridge

At 09:23 local time:


ALL SHARE (J203) 34313.88 34222.58 0.27 91.30

INDUSTRIALS (J257) 39358.24 39209.45 0.38 148.79

FINANCIALS (J580) 26156.51 26081.80 0.29 74.71

RESOURCES (J210) 47449.95 47411.41 0.08 38.54

GOLD (J150) 2357.73 2353.88 0.16 3.85

PLATINUM (J153) 48.81 48.85 -0.08 -0.04

BANKS (J835) 48672.61 48523.72 0.31 148.89