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

The JSE traded within a narrow range at noon‚ underpinned by a relatively strong performance in the industrial sector‚ while retailers and platinum shares rebounded slightly from sharp losses this week.

At 12.23pm‚ the all share index was flat (0.09%) at 39‚914.73 points‚ with platinums recovering 0.80% after a 3.70% loss in the index on Wednesday.

“The market appears to be holding up. The rand has strengthened somewhat‚ which suggests there is less foreign selling than we saw this week‚” said Nicholas Sorour‚ portfolio manager at Sasfin Securities.

Leading European stock market indices were mixed on Thursday‚ with London’s FTSE 100 flat at noon.

Market players await the key economic data due on Friday from China‚ including the fourth quarter gross domestic product‚ to glean more insight into the health of the world’s second biggest economy‚ Dow Jones Newswires reported.

China's economy is expected to rise 7.8% from a year earlier in the final quarter of 2012‚ up from 7.4% growth in the third quarter‚ according to the median forecast of 17 economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires.

Among individual shares on the JSE‚ Anglo American (AGL) remained under pressure‚ losing 2.15% to R264 and Royal Bafokeng (RBP) lost 3.93% to R59.47.

Industrial stock Barloworld (BAW) rallied 2.62% to R86.20‚ Bidvest (BVT) gained 1.42% to R213.70 and Vodacom (VOD) improved 2.29% to R124.26

Financial services group Discovery (DSY) gained 2.07% to R64.09. - I-Net Bridge