By Tiisetso Motsoeneng
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African stocks ended sharply higher on Friday, booking their third straight day of gains, with miners among the top performers as commodity prices cruised higher.
Bourse heavyweight BHP Billiton jumped 4.26 percent to 245 rand, Kumba Iron Ore added 3.66 percent to 457.13 rand and Assore improved 2.99 percent to 208.1 rand.
Optimism that euro zone politicians will come up with a comprehensive plan to resolve the region's two-year debt crisis added to the overall bullish sentiment.
The JSE Top-40 blue-chip index was 2.25 percent better at 28,165.61, while the broader All-share index added 1.99 percent to 31,449.99.
"We believe investors may be drawn back to markets on the back of renewed hopes for a solution to the euro zone crisis," said Kavita Patel, a trader at Sasfin Securities.
Others gainers included luxury goods group Richemont, which added 3.88 percent to 43.93 rand. "We believe this stock will continue to do well as an increasing portion of its sales are derived from emerging markets," Patel said.
On the downside, Vodacom lost 1.03 percent to 86.60 rand after its joint venture partner in the Democratic Republic of Congo filed a lawsuit to block the mobile phone operator from selling its majority stake in the unit.
Murray & Roberts was off 0.49 percent to 24.50 rand after the construction firm released a downbeat trading update, saying trading conditions remained weak at home and in the Middle East.