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

Johannesburg - South African stocks pulled back from life highs on Thursday but shares of mining firm Lonmin surged as striking miners urged union leaders to sign a wage deal with the world's top three platinum producers.

Lonmin jumped nearly 8 percent to 45.88 rand but shares of the other two companies - Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum - retreated to end lower after earlier gaining on hopes of an end to the five month strike.

Amplats was down 1.68 percent to 470.26 rand, while Implats was steady at 113 rand.

Amplats, Implats and Lonmin said they had reached “in principle undertakings” with the leaders of the longest strike in the history of South Africa's mines..

“There was a bit of a frenzy of buying in the morning but it has settled back from highs. The market is obviously waiting for confirmation,” said Greg Davies, an equities trader at Cratos Capital.

The benchmark Top-40 index fell 0.12 percent to 45,587.81, while the broader All-Share index was also down 0.12 percent to 50,596.17.

Both indices had hit record highs for three consecutive sessions despite South Africa's negative economic outlook, but charts indicated that they had reached resistance levels and could see selling in the short term.

About 168 million shares changed hands, with 143 stocks advancing while 182 declined. - Reuters