March 6, 2017 / 9:11 AM / 6 months ago

ASIA CREDIT CLOSE: Investors take profits ahead of rate hike

SINGAPORE, March 6 (IFR) - Asian credit was in a holding pattern today, as investors took profits from some of the hot recent issues and prepared for more primary supply before next week's Fed meeting.

The U.S. is considered almost certain to raise rates next week, following Fed chair Janet Yellen's speech last Friday, in which she hinted that the pace of future increase increases would be faster than in recent years.

The Asia ex-Japan iTraxx investment grade index was half a basis point wider, at 94bp/96bp.

"The general trend is wider, except for issues that are supported by technical factors," said a credit trader. "People in the money from recent issues are looking to take profits. Asia is looking rather tentative today, waiting for direction when Europe comes in."

China Cinda Asset Management's four-tranche notes sold last week were 2bp-5bp tighter today at tenors of 3 to 10 years, while China Everbright Bank's 3-year notes tightened 1bp to Treasuries plus 103bp.

South Korea's sovereign 10-year bonds were flat at a Treasury spread of 51bp, even after North Korea announced that it had fired four missiles into the sea near Japan. The Japan iTraxx index was flat at 51bp/53bp.

Road King's fixed-for-life perpetuals, callable in 2022, were flat at 102.4, yielding 7.4%, while New World Development's 5.75% fixed-for-life perpetual bonds issued last year were also flat at 99.5 to yield 5.8%, even though the notes should be vulnerable to a rise in interest rates.

Reporting by Daniel Stanton; Editing by Vincent Baby

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