Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

South African government bonds were firmer on Tuesday morning, with the rand finding support from positive sentiment on global markets, even as key issues lingered in the background.

Chinese economic data was upbeat earlier, but the primary focus will be on US and local consumer inflation data on Wednesday. SA retail sales for March are also due.

Turnover was low on Monday, and activity should be light on Tuesday ahead of the South African government bond auction, Sasfin Securities bond analysts said.

Despite clear signals from the US that it would not proceed with further airstrikes on Syria, geopolitical tension continued to simmer as that country and the European Union (EU) considered imposing further sanctions on Iran and Russia.

EU officials said there was growing support for new sanctions on Iran, amid attempts to retain US support for a 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

Both Iran and Russia are supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, with new airstrikes on Syria overnight, reportedly from Israel.

At 10.10am the benchmark R186 government bond was bid at 8.065% from 8.075% and the R207 at 6.915% from 6.925%.

The rand was at R11.997 to the dollar from R12.06507.

The US 10-year treasury was last seen at 2.8502% from 2.8253%.