Johannesburg‚ August 29 (I-Net Bridge) - The JSE was trading softer on Wednesday morning with gold miners the only positive contributor‚ after a big selloff in the sector on Tuesday.

"The weaker rand is supporting the JSE‚ but it is a difficult market to trade in and investors are not sure what to buy and what not to‚" said Grant Eckersley‚ stockbroker at SBG Securities in Cape Town.

"Apart from the mining sector‚ the local GDP figures looked weaker and contributed to the weaker rand. Meanwhile the US closed little changed overnight in a tight range‚ and Jackson Hole remains the key focus‚" he said.

At 9.40am local time the JSE all-share index was down 0.37% to 35‚635.85 points‚ while gold miners were up 0.27%.

Rand Merchant Bank said in a note that the headline news story was that European Central Bank president Mario Draghi will not be going to the US Federal Reserve's Jackson Hole symposium because of his workload.

"The bulls say the ECB is getting its policies in place for next week's shock and awe and bears say the ECB is still arguing about what to do‚ risking awe turning into shock‚" the bank said.

"Meanwhile the province of Catalonia now needs a bailout and ECB data shows record capital flight from Spanish banks. US data affirms that the housing market is recovering. However‚ consumer confidence keeps falling‚" it added.

"We will receive some relatively important economic data today‚ including sentiment and unemployment from the eurozone and personal income and spending from the US. However‚ we are mainly waiting and watching ahead of Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke's speech on Friday."

Local big mover were Harmony (HAR) up R1.90‚ or 2.51%‚ to R77.50‚ after the gold miner on Wednesday morning announced a 31% year-on-year increase in its attributable gold mineral reserves in SA and Papua New Guinea to 52.9 million ounces as of June 30 this year.

Sasol (SOL) was a tad higher adding R1.08 to R362.17‚ with the oil giant's share price supported by the weaker rand. A weaker rand supports Sasol profits‚ as Sasol's earnings are mostly US dollar based.

Other miners that showed losses were Kumba Iron Ore (KIO) down R11.26‚ or 2.10%‚ to R524.99 and Assore (ASI) shedding R7.00‚ or 2.22%‚ to R309.00.

Santam (SNT) gave up R4.49‚ or 2.53%‚ to R173.01.

In the construction sector‚ Basil Read (BSR) continued to lose ground‚ dropping 19 cents‚ or 2.11%‚ to R8.80. -I-Net Bridge