Picture: RUSSELL ROBERTS
Picture: RUSSELL ROBERTS

Assurances from the EU to the UK on Brexit bolstered global sentiment on Tuesday, with the JSE pushing higher in broad-based gains.

The EU has said that the UK would have a legal means of exiting its customs union should the parties fail to come to terms on a new trade deal, a major sticking point for members of UK Prime Minister Theresa May's party.

Asian markets were higher, and the pound rallied overnight, with all eyes on a crucial vote in the UK Parliament later.

At 10.05am the all share was up 0.41% at 55,809 points and the top 40 0.49%, Industrials were up 0.53%, gold miners 1.45% and general retailers 0.38%.

Gold was up 0.12% to $1,295/oz and platinum 1.25% to $830.05. Brent crude was 0.21% higher at $66.78 a barrel.

Diversified miner Glencore was up 1.88% at R57.43.

Rand hedge British American Tobacco had gained 1.014% to R577.68.

FirstRand was up 1.18% to R62.85, having earlier reported that that normalised earnings in the six months to end-December rose 7% to R13.3bn, thanks largely to gains from FNB. The bank raised its interim dividend 7% to R1.39 per ordinary share, though normalised return on equity declined slightly, from 22.5% a year earlier to 22.3%.

MTN was up 2.46% to R95.21, bolstered by an upbeat assessment of the profitability its Nigerian division by a US Investment Bank.

Naspers had added 1.1% to R3,181.02.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za