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

Johannesburg - South African stocks ended a touch higher on Tuesday with retailers among the top gainers after an upbeat broker comment, while a guarded recovery in major overseas equity markets added to the positive sentiment.

However, mining shares capped gains on the main index, tracking faltering metals prices. Platinum in particular pulled back from multi-month highs.

The benchmark JSE Top-40 index ended up 0.15 percent at 36,279.10 and the broader All-share index added 0.23 percent to 40,663.34.

“There's was no follow-through from yesterday's sell-off in global markets and that suggests that there's still an underlying risk appetite out there,” Andrew Bryson, a trader at BoE Stockbrokers, said.

Retailers fared well after brokerage house Absa Capital raised its rating on majors such as Shoprite, Mr Price and Truworths.

Shoprite, which was raised to 'overweight', rose 2.79 percent to 173.97 rand.

Mr Price added 2.6 percent to 126.20 rand and Truworths improved 2.38 percent to 105.45 rand after the broker raised its rating on both to 'equal weight' from 'underweight'.

Retailers, fund managers' must-haves in their portfolios for more than a year, having been under selling pressure in recent weeks as worries have grown that their prices are not justified by their earnings or outlook.

Elsewhere, Cipla Medpro set a new record high of 9.45 rand as investors bet its Indian suitor Cipla Ltd is likely to raise its $215 million bid for control of the generic drug firm.

Among the weak performers, miners dominated as metal prices slipped.

Impala Platinum skidded 2.9 percent to 163.95 rand, BHP Billiton was off 1.52 percent at 202.14 rand and AngloGold Ashanti fell 1.49 percent to 256.10 rand.

Provisional bourse statistics showed a slightly below average 190 million shares were traded, with 162 shares advancing and 129 losing ground while 67 shares were unchanged. - Reuters