Johannesburg – The South African bond market was firmer in midday trade on Monday ahead of a speech later in the day by US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke.
“We are seeing good demand from offshore. It looks as though they are expecting a bond-positive speech from US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke this evening‚” a local bond dealer said.
At 11:45 the benchmark R186 was trading at 7.080% from Friday’s close of 7.150%. The R157 was trading at 5.310% from 5.340% at its previous close and the R207 was bid at 6.180% and offered at 6.150% from its previous close of 6.210%.
The rand was last bid at R8.6930/$ from R8.7413/$ at Friday’s close and R8.6566/$ at Thursday’s close.
Dow Jones Newswires reported that a speech due later by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will likely put an end to speculation that US policy makers are any closer to ending their bond-buying programme.
The Fed chief is due to speak at 23:00 at the University of Michigan on monetary policy and recovery from the world-wide financial crisis. It will be his first remarks since minutes of the Fed's December meetings were interpreted by some traders as indicating an early end to the programme of quantitative easing‚ or bond buying‚ given signs of improvement in the economy.
Noted Fed dove, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, told a forum in Hong Kong on Monday that policymakers can wind down asset purchases if the economy creates about 200 000 jobs a month for several months and is likely to meet its quantitative targets to begin raising the federal funds rate in 2015.
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