The JSE was lower on Wednesday before midday, in line with Asian markets as uncertainty regarding Brexit persists. 

On Tuesday, the UK parliament approved the Withdrawal Agreement Bill in principle but rejected Prime Minister Boris Johnson's timetable to leave the EU by October 31. 

“That now leaves the government at the mercy of the EU to grant the three-month "flextension", at which point we're probably headed for an election,” Oanda senior market analyst Craig Erlam said. 

Earlier, the Shanghai Composite fell 0.43%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng 0.82% while Japan's Nikkei 225 was up 0.34%.

In Europe, the FTSE 100 was up 0.43% while Germany's DAX was flat and France's CAC 40 down 0.44%.

At 11.50am, the JSE all share was down 0.55% to 55,630.80 points and the top 40 0.57%. Banks lost 1.75% and financials 1.2%. 

Quilter was down 1.84% to R26.71. The financial services company said on Wednesday that assets under management increased 9% to £118.7bn (R2.2-trillion) in the nine months to end-September. 

Cartrack jumped 5.11% to R24.49. The company said on Wednesday that its headline earnings per share increased 28% to 72.2c in the six months to end-August.