Johannesburg - South African shares were little changed on Monday, as investors refrained from taking big bets, hampered by uncertainty over the stand-off to avert a US debt default.
But shares of AngloGold Ashanti and other gold producers gained ground, as nervous investors drove the price of bullion up by about 1 percent.
While investors were content to sit on the sidelines for the moment, a resolution to the stalled debt talks would likely lift South Africa and other emerging markets, said Kyle Dutton, a broker at Mercato Financial Services.
“If this debt-ceiling agreement does get reached, there's going to be a big flood into the emerging markets, just because people are risk-on again,” he said.
The benchmark Top-40 index edged up 0.3 percent to 39,020.17.
The broader All-Share index rose 0.24 percent to 43,723.16.
AngloGold Ashanti, Africa's largest gold producer, rose 3.5 percent to 133.75 rand.
Senate negotiations to resolve the US fiscal crisis made progress on Sunday and, while there were no guarantees of an end to the government shutdown, many in the market believe a deal to raise the borrowing ceiling will emerge.
On the downside, shares of Metrofile fell nearly 2 percent after the information and record keeper said one of its document storage warehouses caught fire on Friday.
Trade was lacklustre with just 114 million shares changing hands according to preliminary bourse data.
A total of 158 shares advanced, 133 declined and 57 were unchanged. - Reuters