Overseas investors increase Asian bond buying in September

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BENGALURU (Oct 16): Overseas investors were net buyers of Asian bonds for a fifth successive month in September as hopes grew that the United States and China would agree a trade deal soon after officials deemed their talks so far "productive".

Asian bonds received a combined net inflow of US$2.13 billion last month, about 19% higher than August, data from regional banks and bond market associations in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea and India showed.

Overseas investors purchased US$1.4 billion worth of Indonesian bonds in September, the highest in the region, lured by higher yields.

South Korean bonds attracted US$1.18 billion in foreign money buoyed by a stronger won, which gained 1.25% last month.

Malaysian bonds attracted US$217 million in inflows.

On the other hand, Thai and Indian bonds faced outflows of US$518 million and US$145 million respectively.

This month, US President Donald Trump on Friday outlined the first phase of a deal to end a trade war with China and suspended a threatened tariff hike on US$250 billion in Chinese imports.

"An agreement, even if it is partial, is still a welcome development," said Khoon Goh, head of Asia research at ANZ in Singapore.

“There is still a need for continued monetary and policy support until there is more confidence that economic growth is starting to recover and that the worst of the trade war is really behind us.”