"The market is hoping Jaitley wins. A rate cut is partially priced in by the debt market and to some extent in the longer-end fowards," said Vikas Babu Chittiprolu, a senior foreign exchange dealer with state-run Andhra Bank.

"But there is apprehension about Rajan actually cutting rates. There is a 50-50 view in the market on the rate cut," Chittiprolu said.                

Rajan has resisted calls to cut the RBI's 8 percent repo rate for fear inflationary pressures might emerge again, even though consumer inflation has dipped below the central bank's targeted levels.

Retail inflation slowed to 5.52 percent in October, well below the RBI's target of 8 percent by January, and even below a target of 6 percent by January 2016.
The bond and swap markets are pricing in a reduction of at least 25 basis points in the repo rate at Tuesday's policy review.
Yields on benchmark 10-year government bonds have declined 25 basis points (bps) since mid-October, when data showed inflationary pressures receding. Yields on corporate bonds have dropped even more, with those on one-year bonds  down nearly 50 bps in the same period.

In the derivatives space, swaps referenced to overnight money market rates have likewise fallen sharply. The one-year overnight indexed swap (OIS) is down more than 45 bps since mid-October, with 20 bps of that move occurring over the last two weeks as investors saw greater chance of a cut.
Traders said that while a rate cut is almost fully priced in at current market levels, there will be a further rally in bonds if Rajan not only reduces rates but also sounds dovish.
Domestic shares also also expected to rally which could spur further foreign fund inflows into the market and aid the rupee. Fund flows into the debt market will however be subdued due to debt investment limits being nearly exhausted.

“We expect a reduction at the coming meeting and therefore we are bullish the rupee and recommend receiving positions in rupee OIS rates," economists at Credit Agricole said in a note on Wednesday.

The upcoming RBI policy review comes less than two weeks after China unexpectedly cut interest rates to fight deflationary pressures and a little over a month after Japan aggressively expanded its monetary stimulus.

Economists remain divided on the prospects of easing in India though, given Rajan's dogged focus on inflation expectations. The RBI said after its September 30 policy meeting that it expects inflation to pick up by year-end as the base effect wanes.

"I think Rajan would have his way and we will not see a rate cut on Tuesday. But yes, market has priced in a rate cut to some extent," said Ashtosh Raina, head of foreign exchange trading at HDFC Bank.

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