South African bonds were up to six basis points firmer in late trade on Tuesday, mainly in line with a stronger rand.

By 15:50 the benchmark R157 bond was at 6.975% from its close of 7.010% on Monday, while the R207 was bid at 7.770% and offered at 7.765% from 7.810% at its previous close. The R186 was bid at 7.980% and offered at 7.970% after closing at 8.040%.

The rand was bid at 6.9242 to the dollar from its previous close of 6.9695.

"We're mainly firmer on the currency, which is stronger. There's not much else going on, there were no fireworks in the auction it was reasonably well-bid," said a local trader.

Earlier in the day, at its weekly auction on Tuesday, the National Treasury received bids totaling R4.23bn for R1.3bn worth of R208 bonds and bids totaling R1.815bn for R800m worth of R186 bonds.

Local markets will continue to keep an eye their global counterparts for direction. The November Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting kicks off today, with the rates decision due to be announced on Wednesday.

Foreigners were net sellers of 5.932 billion rand of South African bonds including repo transactions on Monday after net purchases of 6.845 billion rand of local bonds on Friday, Bond Exchange of South Africa statistics show.

Nominal cumulative volume was R51.883bn on Monday from R61.463bn on Friday.

Foreigners were net sellers of R6.060bn of South African bonds excluding repo transactions on Monday after net purchases of R6.879bn of local bonds on Friday.

In the year to date foreigners have been net buyers of R60.978bn worth of local bonds, excluding repo transactions.

So far for total transactions, including repo transactions, foreigners have been net buyers of R66.910bn worth of bonds.

In 2009 foreigners were net buyers of R27.755bn worth of local bonds, excluding repo transactions, while for total transactions, including repo transactions, foreigners were net sellers of R3.3bn worth of bonds.