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Bank of England cuts interest rates, as financial market uncertainty reaches "extreme levels"

The Bank of England has announced an emergency cut in interest rates in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

At its special meeting ending yesterday (March 10), the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted unanimously to reduce rates from 0.75 percent to 0.25 percent.

 

The central bank also said it would make an extra £190bn of cash available to help banks support small businesses.

 

It comes as the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, is expected to announce further measures to support growth and jobs in the budget later today.

 

The Bank of England said indicators of financial market uncertainty have “reached extreme levels”.

 

“Although the magnitude of the economic shock from Covid-19 is highly uncertain, activity is likely to weaken materially in the United Kingdom over the coming months,” is said. “Temporary, but significant, disruptions to supply chains and weaker activity could challenge cash flows and increase demand for short-term credit from households and for working capital from companies.”

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