Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens will leave the highest interest rates among major developed nations unchanged for a second month as bond investors show mounting concern inflation will accelerate.
Investors priced in an 85 per cent chance Stevens will leave borrowing costs at 4.25 per cent on Tuesday, a Credit Suisse Group AG Index based on swaps showed. The gap between yields on 10-year inflation-linked notes and debt that isn't tied to consumer-price changes rose 27 basis points in the two months to February 29, the biggest gains since the period ended October 31, 2010.
Government bonds lost 1.1 per cent last month, the most outside Greece among 26 Bloomberg/EFFAS sovereign-debt indexes, on expectations the economy and inflation will rebound this year as global growth recovers.
Stevens unexpectedly decided against a cut in borrowing costs last month after reducing the key rate in the last two meetings of 2011 as the currency's climb to record highs — driven by the biggest mining boom in more than a century — hurt manufacturing and tourism.
"The first stage is acceptance the RBA is not going to cut as much as the market has priced in," said Sally Auld, a Sydney-based interest-rate strategist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. "That's been a story that's probably driven the selloff in bonds. I don't think the RBA is anywhere near close to actually tightening rates, but that doesn't mean the market can't start to price it."
Australia's economy probably decelerated in the final quarter of last year to 0.7 per cent growth from 1 per cent three months earlier as Europe's sovereign-debt crisis intensified, a Bloomberg News survey of 23 economists showed before the release of gross domestic product data on March 8. All 24 economists in a separate Bloomberg News survey predicted no change in rate on Tuesday.