The JSE. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi.

The JSE opened the Friday session down slightly‚ with platinums softening the losses‚ after shedding 2.16% on Thursday‚ and industrials leading the downside in early morning trade.

At 9.42am‚ the all-share index was 0.15% lower at 36‚970.82 points‚ with the top 40 shedding 0.19% to 32‚783.24. The platinum index gained 1.27%‚ while the industrial index was 0.42% softer.

Eastern markets were up with the Japanese Nikkei 225 surging 2.20% by its close‚ on the hopes of further monetary easing‚ while the Hong Kong Hang Seng Index was up 0.18% at 9.26am local time‚ shortly before its close.

GDP data for the third quarter showed Europe dropping back into recession‚ while Wall Street made losses again overnight‚ although they were not as severe as in the past few days‚ Rand Merchant Bank said in a note.

“President Obama meets congressional leaders today for talks over fiscal reform‚ even as party positions seem to have hardened‚” RMB said.

“In the credit market‚ Gold Fields (GFI) became the first true South African ’fallen angel’ — S&P downgraded the company one notch to 'BB+’ (global scale rating)‚ which means that the credit rating has now fallen below what is traditionally considered the investment grade band. The sub-investment grade rating will make future debt capital market funding by Gold Fields considerably more expensive. The long-term national scale rating was downgraded by two notches‚ from zaAA- to zaA‚” the bank said. “The dominating factor in S&P’s decision appears to be a negative view on SA’s country risk and the mining sector in particular. The recent strike had only a modest financial impact on Gold Fields‚ but higher production cash costs and the company’s reliance on SA for half of its output caused S&P to revise the assessment of Gold Fields’s business risk profile‚” the bank said.

Among local individual shares that showed movement on Friday morning‚ were Lonmin (LON) jumping 2.94% to R64‚ Anglo American Platinum (AMS) gaining 1.92% at R370 and Impala Platinum (IMP) adding 1.21% to R141.51‚ while Northam Platinum (NHM) dipped 1.09% to R31.78.

Gold Fields (GFI) was 0.45% softer at R103.37.

Media group Naspers (NPN) shed a further 2.17% to R533.18‚ continued fallout from Tencent’s lower-than-expected results on Wednesday. Naspers owns 34.5% of Tencent.

Oceana (OCE) shed 6.15% to R69. - I-Net Bridge