South African bonds were weaker on Friday morning as the local market waits for Moody’s credit ratings review.

The rand, which bonds usually track, was flat and relatively weaker from levels seen earlier in the week.

Moody’s will be releasing its review of SA’s sovereign rating after US markets close.

In June, the agency downgraded the sovereign rating of SA to one notch above subinvestment grade and assigned it a negative outlook.

Moody’s is expected to keep its ratings outlook unchanged as most of the agency’s concerns remain unchanged.

Moody’s main concerns were over the country’s economic policies, leadership battles around President Jacob Zuma, the management of the assets of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and the recent attacks on the Reserve Bank.

Intensifying tension between the US and North Korea also played on market sentiment.

Rand Merchant Bank analyst Isaah Mhlanga said rand weakness was not necessarily related to the Moody’s rating review as global markets continued to assess war talk from the US.

President Donald Trump said that the pledge he made earlier in the week to bring "fire and fury" against North Korea if it did not drop threats against the US "wasn’t tough enough", and the country had "better get their act together or they are going to be in trouble like few nations have", Dow Jones Newswires reported.

At 9.30am the R186 government bond was bid at 8.65% from Thursday’s 8.59% and the R207at 7.41% from 7.36%.

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