Bonds track weaker rand as foreign interest remains thin
South African bonds tracked the weaker local currency shortly before midday on Thursday, with investors waiting for the outcome of the ANC’s elective conference later this month.
Thin liquidity conditions continued to plague the bond market and real money accounts shied away into the year end, said Sasfin Securities bond analysts. The price action suggested the primary dealer base was uncomfortable taking on positions going into the ANC conference, as evinced by sporadic trade as they tried to clear flows.
Foreign investors sold R1.32bn of local bonds on Wednesday with trading volumes and liquidity at thin levels, Nedbank analysts said.
The rand’s recent moves have been dominated by political sentiment, with the ANC elective conference now just more than a week away.
The dollar was also under some pressure on Wednesday, after US President Donald Trump announced Jerusalem would be recognised as Israel’s capital by the US. This was offset by some progress in tax-reform efforts, analysts said.
Global market focus is also on the US non-farm payroll data, which is due on Friday. The data is expected to provide clarity on whether the Federal Reserve will increase interest rates in December, and the outlook for further increases in 2018.
At 11.30am, the R186 government bond was bid at 9.215% from 9.160% and the R207 at 8.07% from 8.02%.
US 10-year treasuries were bid at 2.3367% from 2.3518%.
The rand was at R13.5673 to the dollar from R13.5051.