Stocks plunge despite global central bank action

World stock markets have plunged despite central banks around the world announcing a co-ordinated effort to ease the effects of the global pandemic coronavirus.

London’s FTSE 100 share index fell more than 7% in their morning’s trade. Shares in airlines saw some of the biggest falls. BA-owner IAG fell more than 20% after it said it would cut its flight capacity by at least 75% in April and May, while EasyJet fell nearly 30% as it said it might have to ground the majority of its planes.

All the main European share indexes saw big falls, with France’s Cac 40 index down more than 9% and Germany’s Dax more than 8% lower.

Asian markets closed sharply lower with Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 closing down 2.5%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 4%, and the Shanghai Composite in China ended the day 3.3% lower.

In a co-ordinated backing to ease the financial crisis amidst the pandemic, the US Federal Reserve cut interest rates to almost zero and launched a $700bn stimulus programme.

It was part of co-ordinated action announced alongside the eurozone, the UK, Japan, Canada, and Switzerland.

However, investors are concerned that central banks now have few options left to combat the impact of the pandemic.

Big rises or falls can affect people’s pensions.


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