Bonds steady as investors watch Middle East and US inflation

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South African government bonds were little changed on Wednesday morning, with the rand likewise stable, as much investor focus remained on foreign developments.

The White House is currently busy rallying international support for a possible military strike in Syria, in response to an alleged chemical-weapons attack.

That Washington was seeking unified support was suggestive of strikes more extensive than those carried out in 2017, reported Dow Jones Newswires.

Sentiment on Tuesday had also been affected by sanctions in Russia, said Rand Merchant Bank, where sanctions imposed on Friday continue to result in a sliding ruble. Easing concern of an escalation in the trade conflict between the US and China had provided support, however.

Local data and events are light, but US consumer inflation data on Wednesday afternoon will be closely watched. Producer inflation in the US on Tuesday had surprised to the upside.

The release of US Federal Reserve minutes from its March meeting, due after the close of the JSE, could also give the local currency direction overnight.

At 10.10am, the R186 was bid at 8.10 percent from 8.095 percent and the R207 at 6.95 percent from 6.94 percent. The rand was at R12.0421 to the dollar from R12.0386.

The US 10-year treasury was last at 2.7984 percent from 2.7792 percent. – BusinessLive

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