The rand was weaker on Tuesday morning, as markets await progress in US-China trade talks.

China’s commerce ministry said on Tuesday that Chinese and US trade negotiators spoke earlier in the day about the phase-one deal that is expected to be signed by the end of the year.

Locally, Bloomberg reported that foreigners were net sellers of R4.4bn of SA bonds on Monday, which is the most in three months.

“Most of the foreign selling was in the shorter-dated R2023 and R186 [government bonds]  so perhaps this was in anticipation of the auction today,” said RMB analyst Deon Kohlmeyer.

“We, therefore, expect today’s auction to be very well supported, especially on the two shorter maturities,” Kohlmeyer said.

At 9.25am, the R186 government bond was weaker with the yield rising four basis points to 8.505%. Bond yields move inversely to bond prices.

The rand was flat at R14.792/$ and at R19.0665/€ while it had weakened 0.11% to R16.2926/€. The euro was flat at $1.1015.

Gold was little changed at $1,456/oz while platinum added 0.56% to $899.95. Brent crude was also flat at $63.57 a barrel.