The JSE ended in positive territory as some bargain hunting returned to the market on Thursday, as well as in the absence of market moving data on the day.
At 17:00 local time, the JSE all-share index was up 0.55 percent at 33,816.96 points. Resources lifted 1.18 percent, platinum miners added 0.37 percent, industrials were 0.29 percent higher.
Financials were 0.18 percent better off, while banks were flat (0.07 percent). Gold miners, however, shed 0.11 percent.
The rand was trading at 7.89 to the US dollar, from 7.97 at the JSE's close on Wednesday. Gold was quoted at US$1,672.96 a troy ounce from US$1,660.35/oz at the JSE's previous close, while platinum was at $1,592/oz, from $1,590.50/oz at the previous session.
Ian Cruickshanks of Nedbank Capital said at its opening, the JSE hovered around Wednesday's closing levels but got a little firmer as the day progressed.
"There is a bit of a set-back in gold stocks. Part of it is the rand. It is recovering and pushing them down," he said.
Dow Jones Newswires reported that US stocks and traders took an optimistic view of global growth, shrugging off a soft domestic jobs-market report.
Stocks extended their bounce from a five-day slide that ended on Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 117 points, or 0.9 percent, to 12,921 in morning trade.
Standard & Poor's 500-stock index added 13 points, or 1 percent, to 1,382. The Nasdaq Composite gained 34 points, or 1.1 percent, to 3,050.
Buyers latched on to a reading on China's first-quarter gross domestic product scheduled for release early on Friday. Traders said stocks got a boost as a rumour circulated that the number could be better than expected. The data follow growing concerns about global growth that have weighed on stocks.
Economists expect China's first-quarter GDP rose 8.3 percent from a year earlier, according to a Dow Jones Newswires poll. That would be down from 8.9 percent growth in the fourth quarter and 9.2 percent for all of 2011.
On the JSE, Anglo American (AGL) rose R3.53, or 1.24 percent, to R287.22, BHP Billiton (BIL) gained R5.48, or 2.32 percent, to R241.23, and Sasol (SOL) picked up R1.28 to R364.75.
Among gold stocks, Gold Fields (GFI) shed 30 cents to R103, and Harmony (HAR) added 32 cents to R81.50.
Amplats (AMS) was up R4.71 to R515, Lonmin (LON) rose R2.51, or 2 percent, to R127.80.
Among other miners, Assore (ASR) was R9.94, or 4.06 percent, higher at R254.99.
Among industrials, SAB (SAB) was R3.79, or 1.20 percent, higher to R318.89, Bidvest (BVT), however, gave up R2.26, or 1.26 percent, to R177.24, Barloworld (BAW) lost R1.35, or 1.40 percent, to R94.99. Naspers (NPN) rose R1.56 to R448.17.
Nedbank (NED) lifted R1.45 to R169.15 and First Rand (FSR) was up 20 cents to R23.90.
In retailers, Holdsport (HSP) added 50 cents, or 1.19 percent, to R42.50, but The Foschini Group (TFG) fell R1.90, or 1.53 percent, to R122.50.
In construction Basil Read (BSR) gained 20 cents or 1.27 percent to R15.95, Aveng (AEG) lifted 64 cents, or 1.58 percent, to R41.24, and Cashbuild (CSB) was up R2, or 1.64 percent, to R124.
Mondi (MND) garnered R2.30, or 3.36 percent, to R70.75.