The JSE retreated on Wednesday as global sentiment turned sour on the back of growing unrest in Hong Kong, as well as the USA's new legislation on Hong Kong.
The US bill could potentially complicate the ongoing US-China trade talks which could result in a deal not being signed soon.
This brings on more uncertainty for global investors who have already been struggling to make long-term decisions on the back the ongoing tensions.
The Nikkei closed 0.62% weaker while the Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.75% and 0.99% respectively.
Stocks in Europe also retreated while in the USA the major indices opened softer after they reached fresh all-time highs on Tuesday.
South Africa's inflation rate for the month of October fell to 3.7% year-on-year from a prior recording 4.1%, while month-on-month it was recorded at 0% from a prior recording of 0.3%.
The rand retreated from its overnight highs as it slumped to a session low of R14.86/$. The local unit had recovered to trade 0.14% softer at R14.77/$ at 17:00. JSE firmer as global markets remain buoyant
On the JSE, Trustco [JSE:TTO] came under significant pressure following the release of a trading statement which saw the share fall 8.99% to close at R8.00.
Brait [JSE:BAT] also struggled on the day as it lost 7.41% to close at R14.00, while Steinhoff International [JSE:SNH] extended its decline to close 6.67% weaker at R0.84.
Diversified mining giant, BHP Group [JSE:BHP] lost 1.98% to close at R322.37, while rand hedge British American Tobacco [JSE:BTI] dropped 1.87% to close at R546.20.
Losses were also recorded for South32 [JSE:S32] which lost 1.83% to close at R26.35, FirstRand [JSE:FSR] which dropped 1.53% to close at R67.50, and Telkom [JSE:TKG] which closed at R51.73 after losing 1.71%.
Raubex [JSE:RBX] led gains on the day as it surged 7.09% to close at R22.65.
Following the announcement to sell its FirstRand shareholding and other property investments, Remgro [JSE:REM] rallied in today's session to close 6.12% higher at R196.00, while RMB Holdings [JSE:RMH] climbed 4.62% to end the day at R87.00.
Discovery [JSE:DSY] managed to post gains of 3.31% as it closed at R134.68, while Anglo American Platinum [JSE:AMS] gained 3% to close at R1248.41.
Gains were also recorded for Exxaro Resources [JSE:EXX] which gained 2.31% to close at R133.94, Pick n Pay [JSE:PIK] which added 2.02% to close at R71.83, and Nedbank [JSE:NED] which closed at R243.05 after gaining 1.8%. Industrials lead gains on the JSE
The JSE Top-40 index eventually closed 0.17% softer while the JSE All-Share index shed 0.36%.
The Financials index managed to gain 1.09%, however the Industrials and Resources indices lost 0.42% and 0.82% respectively.
At 17:00, gold was 0.02% firmer at $1472.55/oz, platinum was 0.39% firmer at $914.45/oz, and palladium had gained 0.61% to trade at $1773.64/oz.