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

The JSE extended losses at noon on Thursday‚ tracking negative global investor sentiment.

The premium investors demanded to hold Italian debt - one of the eurozone’s biggest economies - rose sharply at the auction as expected‚ adding to losses on global equities.

At 12:04 local time‚ the JSE all-share index was down 0.79% to 33‚769.57 points‚ with resources losing 1.35%‚ gold counters shedding 0.39% and platinums giving up 1.14%.

Financials were down 0.36%‚ while banking stocks were off 0.72% and industrials 0.63% softer.

The rand was trading at 8.42 to the US dollar‚ from 8.36 at the JSE's close on Wednesday‚ while gold was quoted at US$1‚618.14 a troy ounce from US$1‚621.47/oz at the JSE's previous close and platinum was at $1‚480/oz‚ from $1‚468.50/oz previously.

“The uncertainty around Spain and Italy remains a concern as does Germany's ability to bail out those countries given the fact that bond yields in that country‚ traditionally considered a safe haven‚ are starting to rise‚” said Reuben Beelders‚ portfolio manager at Gryphon Asset Management.

Leading Asian markets came under pressure as were its European counterparts.

Japan's Nikkei finished 0.22% by its close and the Hang Seng index closed down 1.15%.

The London’s FTSE was down 0.93% at about noon local time.

Spanish and Italian government borrowing costs hit fresh record highs after Spain was downgraded on Wednesday‚ Dow Jones Newswires reported.

The suffering of Spain has put some pressure on Italy‚ which had the task of selling bonds today.

Italy sold a total of EUR4.5 billion ($5.63 billion) in three different bond auctions‚ seeing decent demand totalling EUR7.47 billion. The March 2015 bond was sold for EUR3 billion‚ but at a yield of 5.30%‚ up from 3.91% at its previous auction on May 14.

On the JSE‚ Anglo American (AGL) was down R5.25‚ or 1.90%‚ to R271.75‚ BHP Billiton (BIL) shed R5.11‚ or 2.18%‚ to R229.19 and Sasol (SOL) slipped 50 cents to R360.50.

AngloGold Ashanti (ANG) was down 99 cents to R307‚ Gold Fields (GFI) lost 88 cents to R113.05 but Harmony Gold Mining (HAR) inched up 10 cents to R88.01.

In platinum stocks‚ Impala Platinum (IMP) shed R1.68‚ or 1.19%‚ to R140.01‚ Northam Platinum (NHM) lost 52 cents‚ or 1.90%‚ to R26.83 and Aquarius (AQP) was off 20 cents‚ 2.48%‚ to R7.85.

Sentula Mining (SNU) was‚ however‚ up five cents‚ or 2.70%‚ to R1.90‚ after the company reported a 35% rise in headline earnings per share to 21.7 cents for the year ended March‚ from 16.1 cents previously.

Among other miners‚ Exxaro (EXX) was down R3.53‚ or 1.71%‚ to R203.35.

In industrials‚ SAB (SA) slipped R2.21 to R319.78 and Richemont (CFR) shed 57 cents‚ or 1.23%‚ to R45.90.

Among media shares‚ Avusa (AVU) rallied R1.25‚ or 5.56% on very thin volumes‚ but Naspers (NPN) lost R1.65 to R460.

In banks‚ Standard Bank (SBK) lost R1.49‚ or 1.29%‚ to R114.12 while Nedbank (NED) was down R1.74‚ or 1%‚ to R172.75. - I-Net Bridge