Government bonds rallied around the world as monetary policymakers in Europe, the U.K., and Canada assume more-stimulative posturesamid concern that falling prices for oil and other goods pose agrowing threat to economic growth.

Longer-maturity debt gained, with yields in Germany, Spain, andSwitzerland reaching record lows after the European Central Bank(ECB) announcement of a larger-than-forecast bond purchase plan,the Bank of Canada's unexpected lowering of its benchmark rate, andBank of England policy makers dropping a call for a rate increase.U.S. yields also approached all-time lows with the FederalReserve forecast to hold interest rates at virtually zero nextweek.

“The central banks have been pushed to justify their existence,”said Richard Gilhooly, an interest-rate strategist in New York atToronto-Dominion Bank's TD Securities unit, one of 22 primarydealers that trade with the Fed. “They've gone into no-man'sland.”

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