Stock markets in Asia have fallen even after central banks around the world announced a coordinated effort to ease the effects of the coronavirus.
The US Federal Reserve cut interest rates to almost zero and launched a $ 768 bn stimulus program.
It was part of coordinated action announced alongside the eurozone, the UK, Japan, Canada , and Switzerland.
Investors are concerned that central banks now have a few options left to combat the impact of the pandemic.
After the emergency announcements US stock futures indicated a sharply lower open for Wall Street later.
In Asian morning trade, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 432 was down by 0.2%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was 2.2% lower, and the Shanghai Composite in China lost 0.5%.
Crude oil prices and the US dollar have also fallen on global markets.
The falls on share markets come as investors worry that the world’s largest central banks may now have very little ammunition left to deal with the effects of the coronavirus if the global economic climate continues to worsen.
“They pulled out whatever weapons they had and my sense is I think it may help initially but I don’t think it goes much further because this is still a developing issue. They used up basically all their ammunition and we’re down to sticks and stones, “said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist at Slatestone Wealth.
Earlier the US Federal Reserve cut its interest rates by basis points to a target range of 0% to 0. 225 and said it would offer at least $ 432 bn for support to the markets in the coming weeks.
Speaking after the announcement Fed chairman Jerome Powell said “The virus is having a profound effect.”
Alongside the Fed, five other central banks – the Bank of England, the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan, the Bank of Canada, and the Swiss National Bank – also announced measures to make it easier to provide dollars to their financial institutions facing stress in credit markets.
The move was designed to bring down the price banks and companies pay for US dollars, wh ich has surged in recent weeks.
New Zealand’s central bank also lowered interest rates by
(basis points as it prepared for a “significant” hit to the economy.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand Governor Adrian Orr said the virus was expected to have a severe impact on the economy over the coming year.
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