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

Johannesburg - South African stocks posted moderate gains on Friday, halting four straight sessions of declines, with the market turning its attention to next week's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) for clues to the domestic interest rate environment.

Gainers included aluminium products maker Hulamin, which added 1.35 percent to 8.21 rand after the company said it expected interim earnings per share to increase by around 95 percent. Its shares rose over 4 percent at one point.

“At the moment it looks like the guys are buying into the dips and the market is consolidating,” said Ferdi Heyneke, portfolio manager at Afrifocus Securities.

The market's fall in recent days from the record peaks scaled last week stems from a number of factors including technical ones.

Various momentum indicators showed the main indices had strayed into overbought territory last week, suggesting a correction was on the cards.

But on Friday the benchmark Top-40 index added 0.29 percent to 46,071 while the wider All-share index climbed 0.33 percent to 51,161.

Next week's biggest focus for investors will be Thursday's interest rate decision by the central bank.

The market's rally this year has been fuelled in part by ultra-loose monetary policy globally and domestic rates also near historic lows.

Inflation is above the bank's 3-6 percent target band, but a Reuters poll of economists pointed to the Reserve Bank waiting until September before raising interest rates, given South Africa's lacklustre economic growth. - Reuters