JOHANNESBURG, March 12 (Reuters) - South African stocks ended higher on Thursday, breaking a three-day losing run, with heavily weighted mining shares adding the most points to the benchmark index as metal prices recovered.
Equities have been under pressure in recent days on concerns the U.S. could raise interest rates as early as June.
The benchmark JSE Top-40 index gained 1.04 percent to 46,303 and the broader All-share index added 0.9 percent to 52,240.
"On balance, the overall technical structure on the Top-40 retains a positive bias but the near term outlook still signifies a much increased likelihood of additional residual selling pressure," brokerage house Imara SP Reid said in a note.
Tracking a rally in copper prices after better-than-expected lending data from China, BHP Billiton gained 1.75 percent to 264.30 rand and rival Anglo American picked up 1.38 percent to 199.21 rand.
Banks also gained with FirstRand and Nedbank up 4 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively.
On the downside, retailer Woolworths <WHLJ.J. was down 1.7 percent at 86.10 rand and rival Shoprite was off 1.6 percent at 156 rand.
Trade on the bourse was robust with nearly 250 million shares changing hands, well above last year's daily average of 183 million. (Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing by James Macharia)