August 2, 2013 / 9:22 AM / in 4 years

ASIA CREDIT CLOSE: Investors sit tight ahead of NFP, India goes on sale

SINGAPORE, Aug 2 (IFR) - Traders had a slow day as investors refused to take any new positions ahead of the all-important nonfarm payroll data in the US, which is set to hit the tape during the New York morning.

“It was a slow pre-NFP session,” said one trader in Singapore.

The only actual trades reported were on Indian bonds. Selling bonds from the subcontinent seems to be a consensus in the market these days.

“India is a solid 10bp wider today,” said another trader in Singapore. The move came on the back of a 10bp-15bp widening yesterday.

Investors have been pulling the plug on India as economic data has failed to impress them and the rupee continues to slide. The Indian currency was ending the Asian session at INR60.82/USD, its fourth consecutive close above the key technical level of INR60/USD.

The devaluation of the currency has prompted a series of emergency measures by the Reserve Bank of India that is spooking bond investors.

As a result, the 2023 bonds of Indian Oil Corp were last quoted at 350bp over US Treasuries, having priced last week at 322bp. ONGC’s 2023s were traded at 330bp, some 20bp wide to where they started the week.

Otherwise, the market was “boring”, one trader said. “Everybody is a buyer of the same things.”

High-quality, short-term paper from South Korean corporate issuers, Chinese state-owned companies and Singaporean banks easily found a bid.

Yet, as the looming economic report sapped liquidity, even those bonds ended unchanged on screens.

Liquidity was so slim that brokers and traders did not even bother updating their spreadsheets. Most of the price quotes went into the weekend the same way they finished on Thursday.

The Asia iTraxx IG index also ended the session about 1bp wider at 145bp mid-market as a couple of CDS defensive trades were logged after the London open.

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