Johannesburg - South African bonds were mixed in midday trade on Thursday, with the longer-dated area a touch weaker on some selling and the benchmark R157 slightly firmer on the rand.
By 11:50, the benchmark R157 bond was trading at 7.420% from its previous close of 7.425%. The R207 was bid at 8.170% and offered at 8.245% from 8.155% and the R186 was trading at 8.360% and offered at 8.445% from 8.355%.
The rand was bid at 6.7749 against the dollar from around 6.8097 late on Thursday.
"At the open we pushed to the 7.44-7.45 range, then we came back again. It looks like we're stuck in the 7.43-7.42 area on the R157s. A couple of guys have also sold longer-dated stock, possibly on the back of some profit taking - but in smalls. There's not much in it at this stage," said a local trader.
Meanwhile, Standard Bank analysts said in a morning report that a further string of weak US data had pushed US treasury yields even lower.
"A very disappointing ADP labour report yesterday sent long rates in the US - and around the world - plunging yesterday. If confirmation of renewed weakness in the US labour market is provided in Friday's numbers, then a new medium-term range for SA rates could be opened up," the analysts said.
In the absence of market moving data, local markets will keep an eye on their international counterparts.
Foreigners were net sellers of R591.453m of South African bonds including repo transactions on Wednesday after net purchases of R1.197bn of local bonds on Tuesday, Bond Exchange of South Africa statistics show.
Nominal cumulative volume was R62.744bn on Wednesday from R190.801bn on Tuesday.
Foreigners were net sellers of R603.066m of South African bonds excluding repo transactions on Wednesday after net purchases of R1.314bn of local bonds on Tuesday.
For the year to date, foreigners have been net buyers of R21.118bn worth of local bonds, excluding repo transactions. In 2010 foreigners bought net R57.064bn worth of local bonds, excluding repo transactions.
For the year to date for total transactions, including repo transactions, foreigners have been net buyers of R13.900bn of local bonds. In 2010 they bought net R44.541bn worth of bonds.