Indian, Australian central banks to decide on possible interest rate cuts Tuesday

SINGAPORE - Markets will be closely watching both the Indian and Australian central banks Tuesday to see if they will cut interest rates further.

Central banks world-wide have been easing monetary policy in recent months. The exception is the United States where rates are expected to rise in the coming months.

In mid-January, in an unscheduled move, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) cut a benchmark rate to 7.75 per cent from 8 per cent - with further cuts expected.

Bloomberg reported that 31 out of 41 analysts it surveyed said the RBI will leave the repurchase rate at 7.75 per cent. The rest see a further 0.25 percentage-point reduction,

"The (RBI) has a knack of surprising the market, but having announced a cut before the policy review, we don't think that RBI would cut the repurchase rate again," Amar Ambani, head of research at IIFL Holdings, wrote in an e-mail on Monday.

Analysts are also split on whether the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) will cut the cash rate Down Under from its historic low of 2.5 per cent.

Bloomberg reported that while most economists expect the RBA will leave key borrowing costs at its record low, swaps traders see 63 per cent odds of a cut amid the wave of global monetary easing.

"While the market isn't fully priced for a cut, the bigger surprise would be no move as we've seen very significant falls in Australian bond yields," Steven Milch, chief economist at Suncorp Wealth Management in Sydney, said by phone. "Either way you'll get some market reaction."

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