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

Johannesburg - The JSE was a little softer on Thursday morning‚ albeit still above the 39‚000 point threshold‚ after having reached another high on Thursday.

But concerns about the looming US fiscal cliff have flared up again after politicians could not agree on a resolution.

At 9.44am‚ the all share index was down 0.12% to 39‚119.14 points.

Gold miners were leading the upside adding 0.20%‚ while platinums were down the most shedding 0.45%.

“The big news is concern about the US having reached a deadlock about the fiscal cliff and with only 12 days left to solve the problem investors are starting to worry again. The Bank of Japan announced further monetary stimulus this morning - they are going to buy more bonds‚ and this should be positive for global markets‚” a local trader said.

In the east the Hong Kong Hang Seng Index was flat (-0.01) at 9.29am local time.

On the JSE gold miner Harmony (HAR) added 1.43% to R69.38‚ while platinum counter Northam Platinum (NHM) dropped 1.15% to R37.66 after a rally on Wednesday; Aquarius (AQP) continued its upward surge adding 2.60% to R7.50.

ArcelorMittal (ACL) shed 2.61% to R35.06 and Exxaro (EXX) added a further 1.05% to R168.75. Coal of Africa (CZA) gained 3.95% to R1.58.

In banking Investec Ltd was off 1.03% to R57.45‚ with the counter trading ex dividend.

Among construction stocks Basil Read Holdings (BSR) recovered 2.64% to R10.87. - I-Net Bridge