Bonds mixed as traders await rate decision

South African bonds were mixed early on Wednesday as the market awaits the Reserve Bank's rate decision at 3pm‚ with no change expected.

Global markets are also keenly awaiting the US Federal open market committee meeting's decision on stimulus tapering at 9pm local time on Wednesday. The Fed is expected to announce another $10-billion of tapering.

At 9:17am‚ the benchmark R186 was trading at 8.690% from its previous close of 8.700% on Tuesday. The R157 was trading at 6.750% from 6.685% at its previous close‚ while the R207 was bid at 8.125% and offered at 8.105% from a close of 8.110%.

At 9:20am the rand was at R10.9372 to the dollar from its previous close of R10.9379.

Rand Merchant Bank said in a morning note that foreigners returned as net buyers of local bonds on Tuesday.

"Their purchases were only worth a few hundred million‚ but it is the positive in front of the number that is important. Expect more aggressive buying today. After weakening for another day‚ the market will wait with bated breath to see how the Reserve Bank's monetary policy committee reacts to the heightened uncertainty and currency weakness that has hit emerging markets‚" the bank said.

"If you consider the recent monetary policy responses from the central banks of Brazil‚ India and Turkey‚ the possibility that the Bank may hike the policy rate this afternoon cannot be ruled out‚" RMB said. – I-Net Bridge

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