Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

The South African bond market was mixed on Friday before midday, but yields maintained a steady downwards trend as the rand continued to firm against the US dollar. The rand is still making gains from broad weakness in the dollar and positive emerging-market sentiment.

Bonds, which usually track the rand, have also been displaying strength. The benchmark R186 started the month of April at a yield of 8.96% but is now hovering below the 8.7% level.

Rand Merchant Bank analyst Deon Kohlmeyer said that with the rand regaining its strength, the benchmark R186 bond managed to strengthen to its strongest level this month as foreign buying drove yields lower.

Kohlmeyer said that Friday should see further bond gains as the rand edges closer to R13 to the dollar, "but the market may need to consolidate at these levels before testing the 8.50% level".

At 11.29am, the yield on the R186 was at 8.63% from Thursday’s 8.68% and that of the R207 at 7.57% from 7.555%

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