Coronavirus Toll As of March 11, 2020*;
Number of Cases Worldwide: 119,166
Death Rate 3.6%
As the coronavirus turns into an epidemic in the United Kingdom, the Bank of England, BoE, urgently cuts its benchmark interest rates by 50 basis points to support the economy.
in the Steps of the Fed
BoE’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) unanimously decided to reduce the interest rate from 0.75% to 0.25%.
The FTSE 100 stock index rose by 1% after the announcement at 7 AM on Wednesday.
The steps the BoE took following the Fed’s interest rate cut came hours before Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the Johnson government’s first budget proposal.
Announcing his budget, Sunak also brought down the Treasury’s 2020 GDP growth forecast from 1.4% to 1.1% and the 2021 GDP growth forecast from 1.8% to 1.6%.
Former US Vice President Joe Biden won most delegates in Mississippi, Missouri, Michigan, and Idaho won in the Democratic primaries held yesterday.
Biden’s rival Socialist Bernie Sanders continued to bleed but was able to win most delegates from North Dakota.
According to the Edison Research data, the two candidate candidates were head-to-head in the coronavirus-stricken Washington state at the time of the publication of this article.
White House Plan in Shambles
US stock futures dropped 2% on Wednesday following strong gains in the previous session. Investors were disturbed by the fact that President Donald Trump announced plans for a financial stimulus program to combat the coronavirus outbreak but failed to provide satisfactory details.
Wall Street posted increases of about 5% on Tuesday, due to the expectation that Trump will cancel payroll taxes and announce other major measures.
However, when Trump met with the US Senate Republicans on Tuesday, they failed to reach a resolution.
Russo-Arab Oil War
The Saudi Arabian energy ministry announced on Wednesday that oil producer Saudi Aramco will increase its production capacity from 12 million barrels per day (BPD) to 13 million.
The United Arab Emirates also joined Saudi Arabia in opening taps on production in order to lower the price as a means of punishing Moscow for Russia’s refusal to extend the supply cuts.
*Source: World Health Organization, China National Health Commission, The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at John Hopkins University, Reuters