Falling resource shares just managed to outweigh gains in gold and industrial shares, pushing the JSE All Share Index (Alsi) down 0.03 percent at noon on Wednesday.
The resource shares have been falling since the Anglo American Platinum said it planned to mothball two South African mines, sell another and cut 14, 000 jobs.
This announcement risked a repeat of last year’s violent strikes as the world’s biggest platinum producer struggled to stem losses.
The rand-dollar exchange rate had weakened to R8.85 to the US dollar after prospective labour unrest in the platinum sector following Amplats announcement.
Oil shed 1.25 percent to sell at $110.48 a barrel after economic growth forecasts were cut back by the World Bank, and US crude stockpiles grew.
The Dow Jones rose 0.20 percent the S&P 500 lifted 0.11 percent but the Nasdaq fell 0.22 percent on US markets yesterday, after gains in retail and transportation companies mostly offset worries about raising the debt ceiling.
On Asian markets this morning, the Nikkei closed 2.56 percent lower, the Shanghai index fell 0.70 percent and the Hang Seng edged down 0.08 percent on concern that markets were overheating.
The DAX had lost 0.20 percent by noon SA time, alongside a 0.27 percent fall in the CAC40 and a 0.52 percent loss in the FTSE 100 after comments by Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, who stated that a strong euro could harm the region’s economy.