Bond yields slightly up ahead of inflation data

MUMBAI: Government bond yields inched up on Monday, as market participants trimmed bond holdings ahead of key inflation data scheduled later in the day.
The benchmark 10-year government bond yield was at 7.1777% as of 0450 GMT. The yield fell six basis points to end at 7.1669% on Friday, posting its biggest such fall in six weeks. The 10-year 7.26% 2032 bond yield was at 7.1343% after closing at 7.1143% on Friday.
“Inflation data would guide the markets, as it could provide some insight on the Reserve Bank of India’s likely interest rate action in future,” a trader with a state-run bank said.
India will release its August retail inflation data at 1200 GMT. A Reuters poll of economists showed inflation likely rose to an annual 6.90% from 6.71% in July.
Inflation has stayed above the RBI’s upper tolerance range for seven straight months. The RBI targets inflation in the 2%-6% band.
The RBI has hiked key policy rate by 140 basis points in May-August, to tackle elevated inflation and the next policy decision is due on Sep. 30.
Apart from inflation reading, traders will be keenly awaiting U.S. inflation data that is due on Tuesday.
The US two-year yield jumped to 3.5750%, its highest level in 15 years on Friday, as various Federal Reserve officials talked up more rate hikes to control inflation. The 10-year yield was trading little changed at 3.3193%.
The Fed policy decision is due on Sep. 21 and Fed futures predict 88% probability of 75 bps rate hike.
The Fed has hiked rates by 225 bps during March-July, which includes 75 bps hike in its previous two meetings.
Still, underlying sentiment for Indian bonds remained optimistic on hopes of inclusion in global indices.
Goldman Sachs expects the inclusion in 2023, while Morgan Stanley sees a “good chance” of JPMorgan including Indian government bonds in its emerging markets index soon.

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