Stock futures in London and across Europe surged following the Bank of England’s (BoE) decision to cut interest rates to balance the economic damage caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
FTSE futures were up 0.75 per cent. Euro Stoxx 50 futures were up 1.1 per cent at 2,946, German DAX futures rose 0.73 per cent and France’s CAC 40 futures were up 1.46 per cent.
In contrast, Asian shares and US stock futures both fell.
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US stock futures were down 2.39 per cent and MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 1.15 per cent.
The BoE did not announce any new quantitative easing bond purchases but it did launch a new scheme to support lending to small businesses.
This week, US President Donald Trump said he would take “major steps” to ease economic strains caused by the spread of the virus.
On Wall Street, all three major indexes jumped nearly 5 per cent on Tuesday, one day after US equities markets suffered their biggest one-day losses since the 2008 financial crisis.
However, the pound sank by more than half a cent against the dollar after the news of the first UK rate cut since August 2016.
The dollar declined against the yen, the Swiss franc and the euro.
Benchmark US 10-year Treasury yields fell to 0.6644 per cent but above Monday’s record low yield of 0.3180 per cent.
At the same time, on Monday, the oil market plunged, with futures recording their largest percentage drop since the 1991 Gulf War, thanks to the Saudi Arabia-Russia price war.
Spot gold rose 0.71 per cent in Asia to $1,639.78 per ounce.