• 3/3/2020

     The US central bank has cut interest rates in an emergency move to help shield its economy from the impact of the "evolving" coronavirus crisis.

    The Federal Reserve, which had hinted that support was imminent following steep stock market falls last week, said it was taking half a percentage point off its federal funds rate to a new target range of 1% to 1.25%.

    Sky's economics editor Ed Conway suggested that the measure could prompt other central banks to follow suit as worries grow that efforts to contain the outbreak will cripple global growth this year.

    The last time it cut rates between meetings was in 2008 - at the height of the financial crisis.

    The surprise announcement helped stock markets in the US and Europe pile on value that was lost during the panic of last week initially, though values remained volatile on Wall Street as caution set in around the Fed's motive.

    Just 24 hours ago, President Donald Trump had demanded the bank have the "lowest rate" as part of his long-running battle to bolster US competitiveness.