Bank of England Steps In Again To Provide Some Cushion To Dysfunctional Government Bond Market

The Bank of England said it would buy more government bonds to help keep its price stable and prevent investors from selling them, which could put some pension funds at risk of collapse.

Citing a "material risk" to financial stability after the turmoil hit pension firms, the BoE split its program to buy up to £10 billion of British gilts daily to include up to £5 billion of index-linked bonds.

The market turmoil had forced pension funds to sell bonds due to concerns over their solvency, threatening to create a downward spiral in bond prices as more were offloaded.

The Central Bank said Tuesday that despite its earlier rescue efforts, markets witnessed "a further significant repricing of U.K. government debt," particularly index-linked gilts, which protect investors against rising inflation.

"Dysfunction in this market and the prospect of self-reinforcing 'fire sale' dynamics pose a material risk to U.K. financial stability," the BOE said.

It is the third time the Bank has had to step in since the government's mini-budget sparked alarm among investors.

The Bank first stepped in on 28 September, when investors began demanding higher interest rates on those bonds and government borrowing costs surged to worrying levels.

Wall Street Journal reported that the bond-buying stabilized U.K. bond markets briefly. But the selloff has resumed recently as the BOE's interventions scale has fallen consistently short of market expectations. By Friday, the BOE had pledged to buy up to £65 billion in long-dated bonds. As of Monday, it had purchased just over £5 billion.

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