South African government bonds were firmer on Tuesday afternoon after the rand gained nearly 20c to the dollar on waning concerns about a trade war between the US and China.
“The postponement of new tariffs by both the US and China, and the revelation that the latter will cut import tariffs on cars from as much as 25% to 15% and on car parts to 6%, is seen as an important step away from a trade war that could have negative implications globally,” said Oanda trader Craig Erlam.
The rand reached R12.4941 to the dollar from R12.6748, before weakening again, as the euro regained lost ground on the dollar.
US bond yields were off recent annual highs of 3.12%, but yields were still above the crucial 3% level, their highest in seven years. US yields have jumped on concern that inflation will rise in the US, prompting the Federal Reserve to adopt a more hawkish stance on interest rates.
“Inflation is rising in the US, but its not running away,” said Old Mutual Multi-Managers strategist Dave Mohr. He said the last four inflation readings in the US — average wages, producer prices, consumer prices and imported prices — all came in below expectations.
At 3pm, the benchmark R186 government bond was bid at 8.570% from 8.665% and the R207 at 7.345% from 7.420%. The rand was at R12.5924 to the dollar from R12.6748.
The US 10-year treasury was last seen at 3.0615% from 3.0578%.