South African stocks ended a see-saw session flat on Thursday as an upbeat mood in Europe was offset by a sharply stronger currency at home.

A surprise interest rate cut by the European Central Bank and doubts that a Greek referendum would take place, boosted appetite for riskier assets worldwide.

However, the rand gained more than 2 percent during the session, putting pressure on exporters and miners.

The rand is very strong and that is holding some of the shares back a bit. Also commodity prices are looking a little bit shaky but the rand has been a problem today, said Nick Kunze, head of dealing at BJM Securities.

The JSE Top-40 blue-chip index inched up 0.06 percent to 28,852 and the broader All-share index was up 0.06 percent to 32,211.88.

Among share movers, Basil Read jumped 3.19 percent to 14.24 rand after the construction firm said it won a 2.7 billion rand contract to build an airport on St Helen island.

Foschini picked up 1.49 percent to 102.50 rand after the clothing retailer said first-half profit rose 25.6 percent.

Meanwhile, African Bank fell 3.11 percent to 34 rand, after the lender's full-year profit guidance late on Wednesday slightly missed analysts' expectations.

Also in earnings news, ArcelorMittal South Africa was down 1.09 percent to 66.96 rand after the subsidiary of the world's biggest steel maker slipped into a quarterly loss.

Coal of Africa recovered some losses, but ended 0.86 percent weaker at 6.94 rand after the coal miner launched a $100 million share placing.

A total of 145 shares advanced and 149 declined while 75 were unchanged.