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Gilt buyback hit by low demand

Investors' willingness to sell long-dated gilts to the Bank of England fell to its lowest level for long-dated gilts since it started its asset purchase scheme in March. The central bank yesterday bought £3.44bn of government debt, but was offered £5.191bn of gilts at the reverse auction, equivalent to an offer-to-cover ratio of 1.51. The buyback operation was the first since Standard & Poor’s revised down its UK credit rating outlook to negative from stable.