South African bonds were weaker on Friday afternoon, with the yield on the benchmark R186 bond poised for its worst week since the end of June.

The local bonds followed a weaker rand which, in turn, was affected by both international and local factors.

Renewed hopes that US President Donald Trump could push through his promised tax cuts boosted the dollar, which has been fairly volatile throughout the week.

It is hoped that Trump’s tax reforms will lift inflation, which has, for some time, been running below the US Federal Reserve’s 2% target. Low inflationary pressures have so far led to modest increases in US rates.

The stronger dollar coincided with renewed local political concerns, after President Jacob Zuma reshuffled his Cabinet earlier this week, for the second time in six months. The Cabinet changes came just a week before Finance Minister Mulisi Gigaba delivers his medium-term budge policy statement on Wednesday, which ratings agencies will closely monitor.

Ratings agencies have previously warned that a setback in the government’s stated policy of fiscal consolidation could affect the country’s ratings.

At 3.29pm, the R186 was bid at 8.820% from 8.785% and the R207 was at 7.475% from 7.445%.

The rand was at R13.7073 to the dollar from R13.5661. The euro was at $1.1797 from $1.1846.

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