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South African Bond Yields Drop, Rand Retreats After Rally

South Africa’s bonds gained for a third day as better-than-expected U.S. economic data spurred investors to buy riskier assets. The rand declined from the highest level in almost a week.

Yields on benchmark 10.5 percent bonds due December 2026 dropped 3 basis points, or 0.3 percentage point, to 7.29 percent as of 11:45 a.m. in Johannesburg. The rand retreated 0.1 percent to 9.0456 per dollar after reaching as high as 9.0210 yesterday.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index headed for a two-week high after the Institute for Supply Management in the U.S. said yesterday its index of non-manufacturing businesses increased to 56 last month from 55.2 in January. South African producer prices rose 5.8 percent in January from a year ago, compared with 6.3 percent in December, a government report yesterday showed.

“Global markets are clearly in a ‘risk-on’ mood,” Theuns de Wet, the head of global markets research at Johannesburg-based Rand Merchant Bank, said in e-mailed comments. “The global backdrop that has turned supportive” is helping to pull “the fundamentally weak rand along.”

The rand’s three-month implied volatility against the dollar was 12.85 percent, compared with 12.29 percent a week earlier.

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