Bonds retain weaker bias despite US inflation data
South African bonds were weaker on Friday afternoon, showing little reaction to a US inflation print that came in slightly less than expected.
In July, overall consumer prices in the US climbed 1.7% from a year earlier, less than a Bloomberg consensus forecast of 1.8%.
US inflation is being closely watched as the US Federal Reserve considers further interest rate increases and unwinding its $4.5-trillion balance sheet.
The Fed’s preferred measure of inflation, the price index for personal-consumption expenditures, was unchanged in June from the prior month, the second straight flat reading, reported Dow Jones Newswires.
Analysts said the focus would be on Moody’s, which is expected to release its review of SA’s sovereign rating after local markets close on Friday. The broad consensus is for Moody’s to keep SA’s credit status at one notch above junk status, with a negative outlook.
Intensifying tension between the US and North Korea also played on market sentiment. On Thursday, US President Donald Trump ratcheted up tensions by saying he may not have been "tough enough" when he earlier warned of "fire and fury" should North Korea not rein in its provocation.
At 3.32pm, the R186 government bond was bid at 8.64% from Thursday’s 8.59% and the R207 at 7.41% from 7.36%.
The rand was at R13.4579 to the dollar from R13.4607.