Photo: Leon Nicholas

Johannesburg - South African stocks rose more than 1 percent on Friday, capping their best weekly performance in six weeks as Shoprite and other companies sensitive to consumer spending advanced, a day after the central bank kept interest rates steady.

Logistics firm Grindrod slipped 1.4 percent to 26.10 rand after it said it would issue up to 4 billion rand of new shares to fund expansion projects.

South Africa's central bank left rates steady at 5.5 percent on Thursday, helping boost shares of some companies reliant on consumer spending.

A rate increase would likely put more pressure on debt-burdened South Africans.

“It looks like the bulls are firmly in the drivers seat. The mining stocks, despite the strikes, are showing signs of life,” said Ryan Woods, a trader at Independent Securities.

“We are due for some sort of pull-back, the question is 'when'?”

The benchmark Top-40 index ended up 1.2 percent at 43,167.60, just shy of its record high of 43,434.57.

The index recorded its best weekly performance since the middle of February.

The broader All-Share index also advanced 1.2 percent, to 47,930.03.

Shoprite, Africa's largest retailer, gained 2.8 percent to 158.50 rand.

Fellow retailer Woolworths Holdings added nearly 1 percent to 73.46 rand.

Trade was active, with 212 million shares changing hands.

A total of 221 shares advanced, 97 declined and 56 were unchanged. - Reuters