Picture: REUTERS/BRENDAN MCDERMID
Picture: REUTERS/BRENDAN MCDERMID

The JSE pushed higher on Thursday in broad-based gains, in line with buoyant global markets, as investors gauged the likelihood the UK will leave the EU without a deal.

Sentiment is mixed on this, but Asian markets were higher, bolstered this week by signs of progress in the US-China trade war.

At 10am the all share was up 1.26% to 52,249.1 points and the top 40 rose 1.33%. Industrials added 1.32%, banks 1.58% and general retailers 2.05%.

The pound had weakened against the rand overnight, but gained in previous sessions as markets priced in UK Prime Minister Theresa May's survival of a no-confidence vote. May survived the vote, but the slim nature of her victory has prompted some analysts to factor in an increased chance of a hard Brexit.

May in office offered the best chances of the UK striking a deal, but this still required wrangling further concessions from the EU, said Franklin Templeton's Steve Zahn.

"The narrowness of her leadership victory suggests she might struggle to win a confidence vote in parliament and that could lead to a general election early in the New Year," he said.

Markets have also been cheered this week by signs of progress in the US-China trade talks, including US President Donald Trump's comments that he may intervene in a case against a Huawei executive. Softer-than-expected US inflation on Wednesday has also given markets hope that the US Federal Reserve may be able to keep rates on hold in 2019 in the event of a slowdown, without creating further price pressure.

Diversified miner Glencore was up 2.24% to R52.96 and South 32 2.32% to R33.90.

Woolworths gained 3.64% to R56.34, Mr Price 2.83% to R247.82 and TFG 2.59% to R175.30.

Naspers rose 1.46% to R2,898.85.

Gold was flat at $1,246.41 an ounce, while platinum was up 0.28% to $807.19. Brent crude was up 0.46% to $60.39 a barrel.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za