Profit taking in the gold sector and a negative US employment report pushed the JSE lower on Wednesday.

At 5pm, the all share index edged down 0.18% to 47 514.80 points, retreating from its earlier intraday high of 47 643.28 points. The blue chip top 40 index dipped 0.26%.

Gold mining shares dropped 1.30% following Tuesday’s losses of 4% as easing tensions between the Ukraine and Russia calmed the need for safe haven buying.

Sasfin Securities portfolio manager Jan Botha attributed the general pullback in the sector to investors cashing in positions after profiting from the recent rally in the index.

The gold index is still the JSE’s biggest gainer this year with a more than 40% rise.

Banks and financials were the only sectors to close in positive territory, adding 0.72% and 0.14% respectively, after positive corporate earnings in sector inspired confidence.

Unsecured lender Capitec (CPI) said it expected full year profits to rise by as much as 16% in a voluntary statement released on Wednesday.

This followed improved earnings reports from First Rand and Nedbank, with Africa’s largest bank, Standard Bank due to release its annual results tomorrow.

Meanwhile in the US, the Automatic Data Processing (ADP) report, a measure of private sector job growth, declined to 139 000 in February, missing expectations of a 160 000 rise, Dow Jones Newswires said.

The report, which is regarded as a gauge to the all-important non-farm payrolls report due this Friday, cast some doubt on the recovery of the US labour market.

At 5.16pm local time, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.16% and London’s FTSE 100 had lost 0.56%.

Among individual shares, Lonmin (LON) dropped 3.59% to R52.30 after the world third largest platinum producer said it would not be able to achieve its sales guidance of an excess of 750 000 platinum ounces following the nearly seven week strike that has lost the company 90 000 saleable platinum ounces.

The platinum producers affected by the strike, including Anglo Platinum and Impala, announced on Wednesday that mediation talks with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) under the auspices of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) had been suspended indefinitely as parties were still not able to reach an agreement on wage increases.

Diversified miner Exxaro (EXX) dropped 2.36% to R145.48 and AngloGold Ashanti (ANG) gave back 1.40% to R188.

Capitec (CPI) led gains among banks following its trading update, jumping 4.40% to R190, with African Bank (ABL) rising 3.58% to R10.41

Retailers raked in some gains too, with Clicks (CLS) adding 3.53% to R58.44 and the Foschini Group (TFG) climbing 3.97% to R93.57.