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Bank of England cuts rates as stock markets fall: live updates


Financial markets on Wednesday did not seem impressed by the U.S. commitment to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus, as the number of cases continued to increase in the larger world economy.

Investors in the Asia-Pacific region saw their stocks drop, driven by declines of more than 2% in Japan, South Korea and Australia. The damage seemed to be spreading to Europe, where the futures markets were betting on a somber opening, and to Wall Street.

President Trump has indicated that he will consider ways to stimulate the economy. But so far, the White House has not yet announced specific measures.

Government bond prices rose again, indicating that investors were seeking refuge. US public debt yields fell, moving closer to the new lows reached earlier this week. Gold futures were broadly stable.

Oil prices, which have beaten in recent days, have found some relief in futures trading. Futures for Brent crude oil rose more than 3% to $ 38.46.

The Bank of England lowered its key rate on Wednesday before the stock markets opened in London.

The British central bank cut the rate in half by one percentage point, bringing it down to a quarter of a percent. The decision to support the economy was approved unanimously at an emergency meeting of the central bank's board of directors, said the Bank of England .

The move aims to boost business and consumer confidence at a difficult time, boost cash flow for businesses and households, cut costs and improve the availability of finance, the bank said.

The bank has announced other measures to support small and medium-sized businesses.

During a testimony before the select committee of the Treasury last week, the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has promised that the bank will take all necessary measures to support the economy and the financial system of the United Kingdom.

Andrew Bailey, who takes office as governor on Monday, also spoke before the Treasury Committee and said that the coronavirus would be the first and most urgent problem facing the bank. It is evolving very quickly and in an unprecedented and unexpected way, so we have to be nimble, he added.

The Wednesday move is the first drop in Bank of England rates since the virus epidemic. The Federal Reserve did the same last week in the midst of a stock market liquidation.

Japan is closely monitoring the value of the yen. Investors piled into the currency this week, seeking refuge from the instability of global stock markets.

This made the yen more valuable against other currencies, creating a new headache for Japanese policymakers. They fear that a strong yen could put additional pressure on the country's fragile economy, which has been hit hard by a sudden drop in domestic and foreign demand caused by the coronavirus.

Stocks on Wall Street surged Tuesday, rebounding from their biggest drop in more than a decade, as investors appeared to be comforting from Washington's efforts to protect the economy from damage from the economy. ; coronavirus epidemic.

Although the rebound was sometimes unstable and stocks plunged into negative territory earlier today, the S&P 500 finished almost 5% higher, recovering more than half of the losses of previous days at its most big gain of a day since December 2018.

But analysts have pointed out that any recovery in the markets will likely be tenuous. The White House has yet to announce specific measures, and the increase in tests for the coronavirus is expected to generate an increasing number of new infections in the coming weeks, which could be a new challenge for investors.

Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune will now be recording without studio audiences for the foreseeable future, according to two people familiar with the plans. The average audience for these shows is older and tends to travel to Los Angeles from locations all over the country, causing a temporary ban, these people said.

Alex Trebek, the host of Jeopardy, has pancreatic cancer, potentially putting him at even greater risk for the virus, said one of the people.

The comedy Norman Lear One Day At A Time which, like Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, is produced by Sony, also recorded an episode Tuesday without studio audiences, according to one of the people.

Warner Bros., which produces shows like The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Conan, has yet to cancel studio audiences for its programs. But the studio said on Tuesday that it would start screening potential audience members and ask them to confirm that they or a member of their household have not traveled to countries with the level designation 3 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the past three weeks. This includes China, Italy, Iran and South Korea.

These new and temporary precautionary measures have been put in place with great care and for the health and safety of our guests and staff, said the studio, which runs several of its talk shows in Burbank, in California.

CBS and NBC, who also produce a number of talk shows, including The Late Show With Stephen Colbert and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon declined to comment.

The coronavirus has public health officials who talk about things like social distancing and self-quarantine to reduce the spread of the virus. And now corporate lawyers are carefully examining commercial contracts.

Large law firms produce client notes advising business executives to start paying attention to force majeure clauses in contracts with sellers, subcontractors and insurers. Such clauses are common in contracts to protect the parties in the event of so-called earthquakes, hurricanes or so-called God’s floods which prevent a party from reaching an agreement or interrupt business activities. A business for an extended period.

But these clauses often do not contain provisions for things like epidemics or pandemics. Will a force majeure clause offer legal protection to a company that cannot perform a contractual task because it had to close its doors due to the coronavirus?

Well, according to lawyers, it often depends on the facts specific to each situation. Judges have tended to strictly enforce these provisions and want to see evidence that a company has done everything in its power to make ends meet. Courts are reluctant to interpret a force majeure clause as an exit card from a company that just doesn't do its job.

The reports were provided by Alexandra Stevenson, Ben Dooley, Kevin Granville, Carlos Tejada, Matthew Goldstein and John Koblin.

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