Money & Banking

Domestic bond market rally snaps as hopes for chunky rate cut fade

Bloomberg July 24 | Updated on July 24, 2019

The domestic rates market is dialling back on hopes of any significant monetary easing, bringing one of the world’s best bond rallies of the month to a stop. Blame the central bank chief for taking away the punch bowl.

Traders who pushed benchmark yields down to a two-year low last week, counting on chunky rate cuts, are taking a relook at their bets. That’s seen the 10-year yield jump 10 basis points in two days. The one-year overnight indexed swap also rose eight basis points in this period.

Investors were caught wrong-footed when RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said in an interview over the weekend that future rate cuts would be based on incoming data. The central bank’s change of stance to accommodative in its June 6 policy has already added another 25 basis points of cuts, he said.

Market expectations of further rate cuts have been tempered down, said Nagaraj Kulkarni, senior Asia rates strategist at Standard Chartered Plc in Singapore. Specifically, the market has unwound any expectations of a 50-basis points repo rate cut in the upcoming August meeting.

The market is now pricing in just two rate cuts over next 12 months, said Naveen Singh, head of fixed-income trading at ICICI Securities Primary Dealership in Mumbai. But, that, too, is unlikely to come at successive meetings, he added. The RBI’s rate-setting panel next decides on rates on August 7.

Published on July 24, 2019

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