Bond yields dip on value-buying; firmer rupee aids mood

Illustration photo of an India Rupee note

By Dharamraj Dhutia

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Indian government bond yields traded marginally lower on Monday, as investors continue to add positions, while the strengthening of local currency further aided risk sentiment.

The Indian benchmark 10-year bond yield was at 7.4529%, as of 0445 GMT. The yield ended at 7.4691% on Friday and rose five basis points last week.

Indian markets will be closed on Tuesday for a local holiday.

"There is not much change in most factors, but the rise in rupee is providing some confidence to investors, to add debt at current levels," a trader with a state-run bank said.

The Indian rupee rose to its highest level in more than two weeks, supported by upbeat risk tone in Asia and the dollar's tumble following the release of the U.S. jobs report. The unit was at 82.20 to the dollar.

The benchmark Brent crude contract eased on Monday, after rising by 4% on Friday, following Chinese officials reiterating their commitment to a strict COVID-19 containment approach, dashing hopes of an oil demand rebound at the world's top crude importer.

The contract was trading 1% lower at $97.50 per barrel. India is one of the largest importers of crude oil and higher crude prices have an impact on domestic inflation.

India's retail inflation for October is due next month, and the reading has remained above 6% since January and accelerated in September to a five-month high of 7.41% year-on-year as food prices surged.

Deutsche Bank expects retail inflation to ease to 6.8% in October. The Reserve Bank of India's Monetary Policy Committee met on Thursday to discuss the bank's report to the government, for having failed to meet its inflation targets for three straight quarters.

Meanwhile, 10 states aim to raise 95.23 billion rupees ($1.16 billion) via sale of debt.

($1 = 82.2100 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Dharamraj Dhutia; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)