South African government bonds were fairly steady on Thursday morning, even as the rand drifted slightly weaker due to risk-off sentiment on global markets.The yield on the benchmark R186 bond held near its lowest level since early 2015, a day after the tabling of the national budget, which some analysts have said went far enough to avert a sovereign credit rating downgrade."The most important day for our local bond market has come and gone. The budget delivered was a strong one, setting out to reduce expenditure and increase revenue," Rand Merchant Bank analyst Gordon Kerr said."This combination helps to close the budget deficit and stabilise the debt-to-GDP ratio. Most importantly, the market views this as enough to stave off a rating downgrade from Moody’s at the end of March."Any further downgrade will condemn SA debt to universal junk status, leading to bond outflows and a weaker rand. S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings already have the country’s credit rating at subinvestmen...

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