The Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Sandton.
Johannesburg - Stocks on the JSE retreated in line with global markets on Wednesday, amid risk-off sentiment.

The benchmark Top40 index lost 1.43 percent to 44855.72 points while the all share index dropped 1.25 percent to 52096.71 points.

“There’s obviously a bit of nervousness going about still. We have been weaker right from the get go this morning. The casualties have been typically resources with notable exceptions being the likes of Harmony and Anglo Gold,” said Independent Securities trader, Ryan Woods.

Among the biggest fallers, Kumba Iron Ore dropped 5.04 percent to R201.99, BHP Billiton by 4.95 percent to R197.96 and African Rainbow Minerals lost 4.31 percent to R94.60.

The market’s decline was capped by the performance of gold producers, shares of which were lifted by bullion prices that rose to a three-week peak on safe-haven buying.

Sibanye Gold was up 4.95 percent at R27.99, Harmony Gold gained 5.34 percent to R30.60 and Gold Fields advanced by 3.36 percent to R45.17.

Meanwhile, the Standard & Poor’s and the Nasdaq reversed course to climb higher in afternoon trading yesterday, as investors sought bargains a day after the major indices posted their biggest one-day loss since before the election.