The reception area of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. File picture: Leon Nicholas

Johannesburg - South African stocks fell for the first time in four sessions on Thursday as investors cashed in on recent gains and resource shares such as AngloGold Ashanti edged down on lower commodity prices.

Shares of technology company Pinnacle Holdings recovered, jumping 18.6 percent to 13.58 rand after a two-day rout.

Investors had hammered Pinnacle after a company director was arrested for allegedly trying to bribe a senior police official.

“We have had a decent run the last couple of days and there is some nervousness, people feeling that perhaps the market is a little bit over stretched,” said Martin Lentsoane, managing director at brokerage Lehumo Capital.

“The market will always get very nervous every time we get close to all-time highs. I don't think this is the beginning of a downward trend.”

The Top-40 index lost 0.65 percent to 42,663.18 while the wider All-share index shed 0.57 percent to end the day at 47,380.98.

Both indices are not far off record highs set on March 7.

AngloGold fell 2.68 percent to 179.55 rand as spot price of the bullion hit a six-week low on speculation that US rates would rise sooner than expected and easing tensions over Ukraine.

Northam Platinum fell 4 percent to 38.40 rand after the precious metal producer said it was finalising a deal to increase its black ownership, a move that could potentially be dilutive to existing shareholders or costly to the company.

Also down was e-commerce firm Naspers, falling 3.32 percent to 1,135.99 rand. - Reuters