The JSE. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi.

The surprise on the JSE on Monday was the platinum and resources sector‚ which was the highest gained despite ongoing strike problems. The overall index lost 219 points as foreigners shifted gears ahead of key international events.

“International institutions were buying mostly industrial and retail stocks for two to three weeks‚ but they are now starting to move out as they look more at resource stocks. It is on the back of speculation over more stimulus in the US‚” said Thys van Zyl‚ portfolio manager from Thebe Stockbroking.

At 5pm‚ the JSE all-share index was down by 0.61%‚ at 35‚524.90‚ though resources gained 0.75% with platinum leading the charge as the index gained 3.95%. Banks‚ however‚ were down 2.71% and the gold index was down 1.44%.

US stocks eased back from last week's multi-year highs in early trade as weak Chinese trade data triggered doubts about growth in the world's second-largest economy‚ according to Dow Jones Newswires. In the UK‚ the market was range bound ahead of a key week of events‚ including voting on European bail-out facilities.

However‚ traders are also a little wary of diving in ahead of a rates decision in the US on Thursday‚ where more quantitative easing is not off the table.

Among individual counters‚ Anglo American (AGL) gained 1.28%‚ or 3.29 rand‚ to 261.13 rand‚ but BHP Billiton (BIL) lost 1.19 rand to 249.26 rand.

Gold Fields (GFI) fell 2.39 rand‚ or 2.21%‚ to 106 rand as news emerged employees of the west section of the KDC gold mine (KDC West‚ formerly Driefontein) on the West Rand have been engaging in an unlawful and unprotected strike since the start of the night shift on Sunday.

Despite news that a group of workers aligned to the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) have demanded a 10 percent pay increase‚ Impala Platinum Holdings (IMP) gained a healthy 6.79 rand‚ or 4.89%‚ to 145.55 rand‚ while Lonmin (LON)‚ still embroiled in strike action‚ gained 2.30% to 80.60 rand.

Industrial heavyweight Barloworld managed a gain of one rand to 76 rand‚ but retailer Massmart (MSM) shipped 2.18 rand‚ or 1.30%‚ to 165.98 rand.

Wilson Bayly Holmes Ovcon’s (WBHO‚ WBO) Australian subsidiary Probuild Constructions is to acquire the remaining 49.9% interest in Contexx Holdings (Pty) Limited that it does not already own. WBHO collected 3.17 rand‚ or 2.20%‚ to 147.45 rand.

Among banks‚ Standard Bank (SBK) gave back 5.26% to 106.01 rand. - I-Net Bridge