Bonds failed to get enough bids

A sale of long-dated British government bonds failed to attract enough bids last week – the first time in seven years that a gilts auction failed to find buyers for all of the debt.

It sold only £1.63 billion of the £1.75 billion of bonds available.

It followed a warning by Mervyn King, the governor of the Bank of England, that Britain could not afford a second round of fiscal stimulus measures.

The bonds are due to mature in 2049 and are not included in the Bank of England’s gilt-buying programme.