Bond market. Picture: ISTOCK
Bond market. Picture: ISTOCK

South African bonds were firmer at midday on Thursday, as the market continued to bask in the welcome news of Jacob Zuma’s resignation as head of state.

The yield on the R186 fell to its best level in 2018.

Bonds firmed on Wednesday as the rand reached three-year highs against the dollar amid optimism that Moody’s might grant SA a stay of execution after the budget.

Moody’s previously cited Zuma as a major economic risk factor. In a statement on Thursday the ratings agency said it was monitoring developments.

"The key point from a credit perspective will be the new leadership’s response to the country’s economic and fiscal challenges and progress in implementing reforms addressing them," Moody’s said.

Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking analysts said caution would be prudent as there would be an element of buy the rumour, sell the fact. "All eyes are now on the budget, and whether we can keep Moody’s at bay."

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa’s expected inauguration as the country’s president later in the afternoon, created positive sentiment among local bonds, despite renewed sharp spikes in US bond yields following higher than expected inflation data.

At 11.40am the yield on the R186 was at 8.270% from 8.400% and the R207 was at 6.865% from 6.985%.

The rand was at R11.6275 to the dollar from R11.7170.

The US 10-year treasury was last seen at 2.9205% from 2.8285%. US bonds are repricing after consumer inflation rose 2.1% in January from an expected 1.9%.

Please sign in or register to comment.