Traders currently determine what is happening on the JSE. After Wednesday’s selloff it was to be expected that bargain hunting would take place, and the JSE did open firmer for that reason.

The momentum however did not last and by midday all the major indices were marginally down again, except for banking shares and the gold mining sector which is still benefiting from a firmer gold price.

By midday the All-share index traded 142.74 points or 0.30% higher at 47 046 and the Top 40 index lost 183.16 points to 42 424. The resource index was 0.61% or 334.88 points weaker at 54 640.

Investors were waiting for important data on Thursday afternoon on the Chinese economy. Emerging markets, including South Africa, have taken a hit as investors worry about growth in China and political tension in Ukraine and Turkey.

The selloff started on Monday when China announced a surprise trade deficit and a dive in exports that stoked fears about its economy.

Exacerbating that are lingering liquidity woes and concerns about the business sector following the country’s first corporate bond default on Friday.

While officials blamed much of the weak economic results on the Lunar New Year holiday, analysts said underlying troubles remain, and they will be hoping for some respite with Thursday’s data.

Among resources shares on the JSE‚ diversified mining giant Anglo American [JSE:AGL] was up 0.95% to R259.60 and rival BHP Billiton [JSE:BIL] gained 1.23% to R327.95‚ while oil company Sasol [JSE:SOL] was down 1.38% at R568.05 after reaching an all-time high of R576.00 on Tuesday.

There are however analysts who think that the selling has been overdone. That is the reason why the rand was slightly firmer on Thursday morning, which supported bank shares.

Unsecured lender African Bank [JSE:ABL] added 5.11% to R10.50 and FirstRand [JSE:FSR]gained 1.25% to R34.78.

The gold price improved with more than $4 to $1 370.90. Gold miner Harmony [JSE:HAR] added 2.41% to R38.22 and Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] was up 1.66% to R44.44.