Virus Spread Prompts Fed To Slash Rates

WASHINGTON – In a surprise move, the Federal Reserve cut its benchmark interest rate by a sizable half-percentage point Tuesday in an effort to support the economy in the face of the spreading coronavirus. Chairman Jerome Powell said at a news conference that the virus “will surely weigh on economic activity both here and abroad for some time.” It was the Fed’s first move since last year, when it reduced its key short-term rate three times.

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