The benchmark JSE Top40 index added 0.73 percent to 46422.49 points, while the broader all share index increased 0.54 percent to close at 53139.96 points.
The general retailers index shed 2.77 percent, bringing its decline to around 12 percent since March 27 when President Jacob Zuma recalled finance minister Pravin Gordhan from an overseas investors roadshow, before firing him in a cabinet reshuffle.
Massmart lead the way, falling 4.85 percent to close at R128.38.
“It looks like people are starting to realise that these downgrades will cause the economy to slow down, that’s generally a negative for retailers,” said Cratos Capital equities trader, Greg Davies.
Meanwhile, Gold Fields retreated 4.32 percent to R50.71.
Overall, the market closed higher. Gainers included Anglo American, which closed 1.63 percent higher at R211.99 after announcing it would sell its Eskom-linked thermal coal operations in the country.