Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

South African government bonds stabilised at weaker levels on Thursday morning, as markets monitored global developments.

The local bonds have lost substantial ground over the past few weeks, though they remain a better performing asset class this year, ahead of the all share and listed property.

The yield on the benchmark R186 was at 8.485% in early trade, compared with 8% nearly a month ago, though still better than the 8.63% reached in early January.

The local fixed-income market has been caught up in the shift in global sentiment in favour of the dollar amid concern that the US Federal Reserve could increase interest rates at a faster rate this year.

Rand Merchant Bank analyst Michelle Wohlberg said the rise in US treasury yields would continue to put pressure on local bonds, but creeping demand from local buyers could limit the effect.

The yield on the US treasury paper rose to a fresh multi-year high of 3.1122% in early trade, but this time did not boost the value of the dollar, implying a reprieve for emerging-market assets.

At 10.34am, the R186 was bid at 8.485% from 8.455%, according to Iress data. The R207 was at 7.335% from 7.310%. The rand was at R12.4659 to the dollar from R12.4428.