INDIA BONDS-Bond yields steady ahead of GDP data, Fed Chair speech

By Bhakti Tambe and Dharamraj Dhutia

MUMBAI, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Indian government bond yields ended largely unchanged on Wednesday ahead of domestic economic growth data and comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve's chair.

The benchmark 10-year government bond yield ended at 7.2798%, after closing at 7.2791 on Tuesday.

"Bonds were largely rangebound through the day, as traders want to assess India's growth data and comments from Fed before taking further calls," said Rajeev Pawar, head of treasury at Ujjivan Small Finance Bank.

"There are chances of another round of fall in yields in the run-up to the policy decision."

The benchmark Brent crude contract was over 1% higher at $84.90 per barrel on Wednesday, breaking a five-session falling streak, due to a fall in U.S. crude inventory figures from American Petroleum Institute.

India's gross domestic product data will be published after the market closes for the day. A Reuters poll showed the economy likely returned to a more normal 6.2% annual growth rate in July-September after a double-digit expansion in the previous quarter.

Easing inflation could allow the central bank to focus more on pushing growth and slowing down the pace of its rate hikes. The RBI has raised key repo rate by 190 basis points so far in 2022, to 5.90%, and the next decision is due on Dec. 7.

Traders also await Fed Chair Jerome Powell's speech, also after the markets close, and U.S. non-farm payrolls on Friday.

These events will provide clarity on the Fed's rate stance. The Fed has raised rates by 375 bps so far in 2022 and its next policy decision is due on Dec. 14.

However, India's benchmark bond yield slid in November, posting its steepest fall in 32 months, as lower domestic and U.S. inflation raised bets that the rate hike cycle may be near its end.

The yield eased 16 basis points (bps) for the month, its biggest drop since March 2020. The benchmark yield also posted its first monthly fall in three, having risen by 21 bps in September and five bps in October. (Reporting by Bhakti Tambe and Dharamraj Dhutia; Editing by Savio D'Souza)