Johannesburg - Bonds weakened and the rand was steady on
Wednesday with dealers on the sidelines, waiting for Finance Minister Pravin
Gordhan’s budget speech at 12:00 GMT.
The market was also looking for inflation numbers at 08:00
GMT, with the economists estimating the data to show inflation edging up to
6.2% year-on-year in January.
Gordhan is expected to announce that the budget deficit
should widen in 2012/13 financial year. Market players will be looking for how
government plans to fund an expensive infrastructure spending project proposed
by President Jacob Zuma this month.
“It is budget day, so nothing is going happen until 12:00
GMT. The guys are going to wait on the sidelines and see what Mr Gordhan has
got up his sleeve,” said a Johannesburg dealer.
Yields rose, with the 2015 bond yield up three basis points
to 6.645% and that on the 2026 issue up by the same margin to 8.26%.
On the currency, the rand was steady but could weaken after
the budget. At 06:43 GMT, it was trading at R7.72 against the dollar, from
Tuesday’s close of R7.74.
“Once budget details are known, the risk is tilted towards
rand weakness rather than strength,” said Tradition Analytics in a note.
On the bourse, the JSE’s blue chip Top 40 - (Tradeable)
[JSE:J200] March futures contract inched up 0.16% before the 07:00 GMT start of
trade, pointing to a slightly positive start.