March foreign flows into Asian bonds the highest since January 2018

Foreign inflows into Asian bonds surged in March as lower US yields and hopes for a Sino-US trade deal boosted demand for regional assets.

Overseas investors bought a net $5 billion of regional bonds in March, highest since January 2018, data from central banks and bond market associations in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea and India showed.

Indian and Indonesian bonds — the two with highest yields in the region — both received net foreign inflows of $1.7 billion in March.

Rising optimism that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will come back to power in India’s over-a-month-long polls also bolstered foreign inflows into Indian bonds last month. However, there have been outflows so far in April as a sharp increase in crude oil prices has stoked concerns about India’s fiscal position.

South Korea and Malaysian bonds also attracted net foreign buying, of $1.2 billion and $721 million respectively, in March.

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