Gold producers gained after the price of bullion rose. But Anglo American and BHP Billiton, the biggest mining companies, dropped after a report indicated industrial production in Francedeclined in July. Anglo closed 2.5 percent and BHP Billiton 2.1 percent lower.
The French data followed a report on Monday that US factory production slowed in August, stoking concern slowing economies might damp demand for minerals.
The price of the gold gained as much as 0.6 percent to $320.35 an ounce. It was trading at $319.80 in Johannesburg late yesterday. Gold Fields rose 2.1 percent and Harmony 2.3 percent.
Banks declined for a second day after annual inflation accelerated to 10.8 percent in August, its highest in 31 months. This increased the chance that the Reserve Bank will raise interest rates in November, crimping demand for credit.
Datatec the computer networking company, fell 7.8 percent, on concern the faltering US economy might delay a rebound in spending on computer equipment. The company makes 80 percent of its sales in the US.
Africa's biggest networking company, which makes 20 percent of its sales in the US, fell 2.5 percent.
Old Mutual fell 3.9 percent. This followed recent declines in European life insurance stocks because of concern insurers may sell new shares to bolster reserves, according to Merrill Lynch analyst Stewart Rider.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was surprised to know that the Serbs had not forgiven the alliance for bombing their country. Mr. Stoltenberg wants to now why the ungrateful people did not appreciate NATO's aggression