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India bonds flattish as investors await inflows in index inclusion week

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By Dharamraj Dhutia

MUMBAI, June 25 (Reuters) -Indian government bond yields were largely unchanged in early trade on Tuesday as investors continued to await inflows into domestic debt that will be included in a global index later this week.

The benchmark 10-year yield IN071034G=CC was at 6.9719% as of 10:00 a.m. IST, following its previous close of 6.9741%.

"We have not yet witnessed any major passive inflows and that should be a major trigger for the next round of decline in yields, but till then we will trade sideways," a trader with a state-run bank said.

Indian bonds will be included in JPMorgan's widely-tracked emerging market debt index on June 28.

Inflows into bonds under the so-called fully accessible route have risen to more than $10 billion since the inclusion was announced in September.

Investors have pre-positioned for the inclusion to some extent and are bullish on India, allocating 3.6% of holdings in the country's bonds as of end-May, said Min Dai, head of Asia Macro strategy at Morgan Stanley.

The bond yield curve has flattened since the start of the year due to strong foreign inflows, narrowing the spread between the two-year and 10-year yields, DBS said.

"Beyond the index inclusion, supply-demand dynamics will be under watch when the FY25 (national) Budget is tabled. We do not expect an increase in the scale of borrowings vs what was outlined back in the interim budget," Radhika Rao, executive director and senior economist at DBS, said in a note.

Foreign banks have also stepped up purchases of bonds, especially those of longer maturities, and the market is expecting heavier flows by the end of the week.

The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield continued to hover around 4.25% during Asian hours as investors await key U.S. inflation data this week.

Meanwhile, nine Indian states will aim to raise 170.71 billion rupees ($2.05 billion) through a sale of bonds in the last auction for this quarter.

($1 = 83.4475 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Dharamraj Dhutia
Editing by Sonia Cheema


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