The JSE closed more than 500 points in the red, as sharply lower mining stocks added to the load of negative world markets.

The JSE’s all share index lost 1.75 percent, led by a 3.19 percent pull back in the gold mining index. Resources fell 2.2 percent, and the platinum mining index gave up 1.32 percent.

Industrials declined 1.42 percent, while banks and financials withdrew 1.15 percent and 1.34 percent respectively.

The rand was bid at 6.69 to the US dollar from 6.62 when the JSE closed on Wednesday, while gold was quoted at US794.90 a troy ounce from $814.80/oz at the JSE’s last close.

“We saw serious moves in SAB’s share price, as the group expects earnings out of Asia to be bad, and guys are possibly trying to get out of long term positions that they had,” a local trader said.

He added that the stock has been quite volatile, which actually highlights the current nervousness priced into the market at these levels.

He said that the market tends to overreact and then correct itself, adding that it was however, subject to economic data being released internationally.

The DJIA did open a bit softer and it was trading 0.28 percent lower at the JSE’s close, as jobless claims data came out slightly worse than expected.

The trader also said that markets globally have been a bit nervous. “You can’t write off the risk of sub prime and the market should be concerned,” he said.

At the JSE’s close, brewer SABMiller (SAB) fell 8.69 rand, or 4.57 percent, to 181.60 rand, after it earlier reported a 22 percent rise in adjusted earnings per share to US 69.1 cents for the six months ended September from 56.6 cents a year ago.

Swiss luxury goods group Richemont (RCH) eased 39 cents to 43.31 rand.

Resources group BHP Billiton (BIL) lost 5.34 rand, or 2.38 percent, to 219 rand and Anglo American (AGL) dipped 12.50 rand, or 2.77 percent, to 438 rand, while Sasol (SOL) was 2.50 rand lower at 342 rand.

Anooraq (ARQ) shed 18 cents to 29.82 after it reported a 954,924 Canadian dollar loss for the third quarter ended September, compared to a loss of C856,347 for the same period last year.

Gold miner AngloGold Ashanti (ANG) fell 10.15 rand, or 3.22 percent, to 305 rand and Goldfields (GFI) declined 4.01 rand, or 3.26 percent, to 118.99 rand.

Platinum stock Anglo Platinum (AMS) was down 22.02 rand, or 2.14 percent, to 1,007.98 rand and Impala Platinum (IMP) slipped 2.50 rand, or 1.03 percent, to 240 rand. Lonmin (LON) was off 12.49 rand, or 2.82 percent, to 430.71 rand.

Gaming and hotels group Johnnic Holdings (JNC) lifted 32 cents, or 2.07 percent, to 15.77 rand. It earlier reported 41 cents in diluted headline earnings per share for the interim period ended September, from 35 cents the same time a year ago.

Investment group Hosken Consolidated Investments (HCI) retreated 2.71 rand, or 3.08 percent, to 85.29 rand. It reported an 18 percent increase in diluted headline earnings per share to 223.03 cents for the six months ended September 2007 from 188.98 cents in the same period a year ago.

In the banking and financial sector, Investec Ltd (INL) was one rand, or 1.29 percent lower, at 76.50 rand and Investec Plc (INP) slumped 2.61 rand, or 3.43 percent, to 73.39 rand.

The specialist banking group reported that headline earnings per share for the half-year period to September increased by 15.2 percent from 22.4 pence to 25.8 pence.

ABSA (ASA) retreated 3.30 rand, or 2.43 percent, to 132.50 rand.

Telecommunications group Telkom (TKG) was off 5.95 rand, or 3.49 percent, at 164.75 rand, but MTN Group (MTN) was three cents better at 129.53 rand.

Source: Business Report – Nicole Rego