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

Johannesburg - South African stocks rebounded from two straight sessions of falls on Monday, led by Naspers after the e-commerce firm's Chinese moneymaker won approval to set up a bank.

Naspers, South African biggest company by value, added the most points to the benchmark index, rising 1.9 percent to 1,308.40 rand, tracking sharp gains in China's Tencent Holdings.

Tencent, in which Naspers owns more than 30 percent, won approval from China's banking regulator late on Friday to set up a bank in the Qianhai economic zone in southern China's Guangdong province with two local firms.

“We had better-than-expected data out of China last week and that is giving some of the resources a bit of lift,” said Rigardt Maartens, a portfolio manager at PSG Securities.

“Apart from resources, the market has had a very good run but I don't think we can expect a major correction in the short term.”

Investors are expected to take some comfort in South African fundamentals after more than 200,000 workers on Monday ended a four-week wage strike that some economists feared could tip the economy into recession

The benchmark JSE Top-40 index was up 0.76 percent at 46,738.70 and the broader All-Share index added 0.73 percent to 51,927.57.

The market bounced back after back-to-back declines last week, when it was hurt by growing concern that recent gains might have pushed prices to levels from which they can only disappoint.

Coal producer Exxaro Resources climbed 1.9 percent to 144.01 rand.

It said it had bought coal mines - the bulk of whose output is destined for China - from France's Total for nearly $500 million.

Merafe Resources surged 5 percent to 1.45 rand after the country's top ferrochrome producer flagged as much as 142 percent jump in first-half profit.

Trade was relatively slow with about 147 million shares changing hands, below last year's daily average of 176 million.

Advancers outpaced decliners, 204 to 102. - Reuters