Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

South African bonds were firmer on Thursday afternoon after the dollar rebounded against the euro as the July European Central Bank (ECB) minutes indicated some unease with the stronger trend in the euro.

The rand was off its firmer overnight and intra-day levels in choppy trade, in a range between R13.12 and R13.24 to the dollar.

Eurozone inflation remained stable at 1.3% in July, reducing the likelihood of the ECB embarking on a reversal of accommodative monetary policies soon, which was envisaged by ECB president Mario Draghi at his Lisbon speech in June.

The ECB is still expected to take steps towards tapering at its September meeting, analysts said. "Foreign flows into the local bond market remained lacklustre, with a [net] R37m outflow from the bond market on Wednesday," analysts at Nedbank corporate and investment banking said.

At 3.30pm, the R186 was bid at 8.505% from 8.53% and the R207 at 7.28% from 7.3%.

The rand was at R13.1822 from R13.1781.

Earlier minutes from the US Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting indicated that Fed officials were divided over the timing of future interest-rate increases, as they struggled to understand why inflation had been so weak in recent months, reported Dow Jones Newswires.

The US dollar felt the brunt of it initially, with the yield on US treasuries also coming under pressure as markets continue to price in a slower pace of tightening.

The mixed messages from the Fed’s Federal open market committee were being interpreted as somewhat dovish by market participants as risk-asset managers remain committed to a "lower for longer" view on interest rates, analysts at Momentum SP Reid said.

US bonds were weaker with the 10-year yield at 2.2351% from 2.2246%.

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