The JSE retreated on Monday primarily on the back of losses recorded on the resources index.
The firmer rand played an important role as it extended its gains against the greenback.
This saw rand-denominated prices of metal commodity prices fall which resulted in weakness for most of the locally listed miners.
The JSE also shrugged off earlier momentum from Chinese markets which rallied on the optimism of a partial trade deal.
The rand held on to its gains as it peaked at a session high of R14.72/$ before it was recorded trading 0.01% firmer at R14.79/$ at 17:00.
Stocks rise on promise of trade deal
On the local bourse, Kumba Iron Ore [JSE:KIO] came under significant pressure as it tumbled 6.09% to close at R364.50, African Rainbow Minerals [JSE:ARI] lost 3.76% to close at R140.59, and Glencore [JSE:GLN] fell 2.94% to end the day at R43.18.
Imperial Logistics [JSE:IPL] also struggled as it lost 4.35% to end the day at R52.50, while Motus Holdings closed 4.78% lower at R69.49.
Mining giant Anglo American PLC [JSE:AGL] fell 2.28% to close at R359.34, while its sector peer BHP Group closed at R312.74 after losing 2.33%.
Some rand sensitives also weakened despite the rand trading mostly firmer on the day.
ABSA Group lost 1.7% to close at R157.28, Investec PLC [JSE:INP] retreated 2.56% to close at R78.50, and Massmart [JSE:MSM] fell 1.85% to close at R43.95.
Grindrod [JSE:GND] closed amongst the day's biggest gainers after it rallied 5.18% to close at R5.28, while Nampak [JSE:NPK] climbed 5.05% to end the day at R10.60.
Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] surged 3.54% to close at R83.76, while AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG] rose 1.64% to close at R301.01.
Long4Life [JSE:L4L] was bolstered by the release of its interim half-year results which saw the stock rise 2.75% to R4.11.
Other significant gainers on the day included Aspen Pharmacare [JSE:APN] which added 2.03% to end the day at R96.72, Mediclinic [JSE:MEI] which gained 1.51% to close at R65.80, and Life Healthcare [JSE:LHC] which closed at R24.22 after rising 1.21%.
The correlation between GDP growth and JSE earnings
The JSE All-Share index eventually closed 0.62% lower while the blue-chip JSE Top-40 index dropped 0.59%.
The Resources index recorded the biggest fall as it closed 1.62% lower. The Industrials and Financials indices lost 0.12% and 0.31% respectively.
At 17:00, Gold was 0.22% firmer at $1491.96/oz, Platinum was up 0.32% at $898.45/oz, and Palladium had inched up 0.36% to trade at $1707.65/oz.
Brent crude slipped as sentiment on the trade war changed as today's session progressed. The commodity was trading 2.81% weaker at $58.84/barrel just after the JSE close.