More pain looms for Asia’s worst-performing bonds

Visitors wait for elevators the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai. (File pic)

MUMBAI: Indian bonds, the worst performer this month among Asian peers, may extend losses with no let-up in the bad news facing them.

The benchmark 10-year debt sold off Wednesday evening after S&P Global Ratings warned of a downgrade, dealing a blow to an already frail sentiment.

The Reserve Bank of India’s shock hold on rates last week led to the worst weekly fall in bond prices in more than one-and-a-half years.

S&P’s red flag adds to lingering concerns about a wider fiscal deficit, rising inflation, volatile oil prices and the absence of bond purchases by the RBI.

Data due later Thursday will likely show retail inflation accelerated to 5.30% in November, the fastest pace since July 2016.

No wonder global funds have turned cautious in recent days, selling the most Indian bonds in a year on Tuesday.

“Sentiment has been very negative after the RBI policy, and with every incremental negative news bonds are testing new lows,” said Paresh Nayar, currency and money markets head at FirstRand Ltd in Mumbai.

S&P’s warning brings back into focus concerns about India’s deteriorating economic health, he said.

The 10-year yield has surged 28 basis points so far this month, the most among Asian nations.

It fell two basis points to 6.75% as of 9.55am in Mumbai after jumping six basis points Wednesday.