MUMBAI — India’s 10-year bond yield posted its biggest single-session rise in three months on Friday, after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) raised rates and maintained a tough monetary policy stance.
The benchmark bond yield rose 14 basis points to end at 7.3005%, after closing at 7.1516% a day earlier. For the week, however, the yield eased two basis points lower.
The bond market was open for trading for an extra hour and a half due to a delay in a weekly debt auction result, traders said.
The RBI’s monetary policy committee (MPC) raised the key lending rate, or the repo rate, by 50 bps on Friday, the third increase in the current cycle to cool stubbornly high inflation that has remained above the central bank’s tolerance band for six straight months.
“Rate hike was expected, but the shock reaction because market had positioned for a lesser quantum and some dovish commentary, both of which did not materialize today,” said Vijay Sharma, senior executive vice president at PNB Gilts.
The fixed-income trader expects the benchmark bond yield to trade in the range of 7.20-7.35% in the near term, with major focus on global fundamentals like oil prices and U.S. Treasury yields.
With June retail inflation hitting 7%, economists polled by Reuters expected the third rate hike in four months, but views were widely split between a 25 bps to a 50 bps increase.
While hiking rate, the RBI kept growth and inflation forecasts unchanged at 7.2% and 6.7%, respectively, but highlighted concerns over the former.
Kunal Kundu, Societe Generale’s India economist, sees inflation dropping below 6% from 2023 but expects one more rate hike of 35 bps, which will end the current interest rate hike cycle.
Bank of Baroda said it was expecting the RBI to hike repo rate by another 50 bps and the 10-year yield to rise to around 7.50% level by the end of September. (Reporting by Dharamraj Lalit Dhutia; Editing by Anil D’Silva)