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INDIA: Indian bond yields continue to rise alongside weakness in the INR as US
monetary tightening expectations gather pace, narrowing India's previously high
yield advantage over the US. The rise in Indian bond yields and the weakness in
the rupee has wiped out almost two years of total returns for dollar-based bond
investors. MNI believes that Asian FX faces a period of weakness across the
board, and the INR is unlikely to be spared unless the RBI adopts a much tighter
monetary policy stance. However, the ongoing rise in the RBI's reserve holdings
suggest that the central bank has actually been steering the currency weaker
rather than acting against weakness, in stark contrast to Indonesia's central
bank. India's stronger external balance sheet (with lower levels of external
debt, lower share of foreign ownership in its bond market) suggests that any
surge in the dollar would be likely to undermine Indonesian assets more than
their Indian counterparts. The main risk to this view comes from a continued
rise in oil prices, given India's much greater reliance on oil imports compared