South African government bonds were steady at levels last seen in July 2015 on Monday afternoon, with market focus on upcoming events this week, notably the tabling of the budget on Wednesday.Wednesday’s budget will be closely watched amid expectations that the administration of acting President Cyril Ramaphosa will pursue a strict policy of fiscal consolidation.SA’s growing budget deficit, taking place alongside wasteful expenditure and rent-seeking, is the primary reason two ratings agencies — S&P Global and Fitch — have downgraded SA’s credit rating to junk status. Moody’s alone has opted to keep SA’s credit rating above sub-investment grade.If Moody’s downgrades SA, the country will fall off key global bond indices, something that would prompt automatic selling of local debt by institutional investors.A sharp rand reaction should be expected directly after the budget speech, and again when Moody’s provides its response, presumably within a day or two after the event, Rand Mercha...

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