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Bonds slide along with rupee on unexpectedly hawkish RBI minutes

Deputy Reserve Bank of India Governor Viral Acharya said he would vote for the start of the “withdrawal of accommodation” at the next meeting in June.

business Updated: Apr 20, 2018 13:36 IST
Bond yields,RBI minutes,monetary policy
Minutes of the April 4-5 meeting released Thursday showed most monetary policy committee members were optimistic the economy would rebound this year and actual output would move closer to its potential.(PTI Photo)

Bonds tumbled and the rupee slid to its weakest in more than a year as unexpectedly hawkish RBI monetary policy minutes added to the pressure of higher oil prices, boosting speculation policy makers will raise interest rates.

India’s 10-year yield was up at 7.70 percent at 1.20 pm, after jumping as much as 17 basis points earlier. It is up 31 basis points this week. The rupee fell past 66 per dollar to the lowest level since March 2017.

Minutes of the April 4-5 meeting released Thursday showed most monetary policy committee members were optimistic the economy would rebound this year and actual output would move closer to its potential. Deputy Reserve Bank of India Governor Viral Acharya said he would vote for the start of the “withdrawal of accommodation” at the next meeting in June.

The 10-year bond yield “has room to rise quite substantially,” said Suyash Choudhary, head of fixed income at IDFC Asset Management Co. “If this new bout of spike in commodity prices sustains till the June policy, then the RBI would definitely change its stance, and August is a real possibility of a hike.”

Ten-year bonds are poised for a second weekly decline after the yield surged 25 basis points last week. It had dropped in each of the previous five weeks as policy makers took a slew of measures to revive the bond market.

“Risk appetite is already very weak, nationalized banks are booking profits wherever available, the global environment is not conducive and on top of that, you have the hawkish RBI minutes,” said Choudhary.

One-year interest-rate swaps climbed seven basis points Friday to 6.58%. The move in interest-rate swaps indicates that the timeline for rate hikes has been brought forward by 3-to-6 months, said Vijay Sharma, New Delhi-based executive vice president for fixed-income at PNB Gilts Ltd.

The rupee fell 0.3% to 66.01 per dollar.

First Published: Apr 20, 2018 13:32 IST