Positive stock response…Rescue package talks…Coal plant closure
UNDATED (AP) – Global stock markets are higher after the Federal Reserve promised economic support as Congress delayed action on a $2 trillion aid package. London and Frankfurt opened higher and Tokyo added more than 7%. Shanghai, Hong Kong and Paris also gained. Wall Street and other stock markets have lost as much as one-third of their value over the past month.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Federal Reserve is unleashing its boldest effort yet to protect the U.S. economy from the coronavirus by helping companies and governments large and small pay their bills and survive a devastating crisis. With lending in Treasury and mortgage markets at risk of clogging up, the Fed announced an aggressive set of programs to try to smooth out those markets. To do so, it committed to buy as much government-backed debt as it deems necessary and – for the first time ever – corporate debt, too.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Congress and the White House are negotiating a nearly $2 trillion rescue package of healthcare and economic aid amid the coronavirus outbreak and national shutdown. No final decisions have been made. But the emerging package is expected to include one-time emergency checks plus payroll support for American workers, loans to industry and money for health care providers, emergency food programs and other public health needs. Negotiations are continuing on the details.
BEIJING (AP) – Chinese authorities are lifting a two-month lockdown of most of coronavirus-hit Hubei province, as domestic cases of the virus continue to subside. People who are cleared will be able to leave the province after midnight Tuesday. The city of Wuhan, where the outbreak started, will remain locked down until April 8. China barred people from leaving or entering Wuhan starting Jan. 23 and expanded it to most of the province in succeeding days. Hubei has seen almost no new infections for more than a week.
DRAKESBORO, Ky. (AP) – A coal plant in western Kentucky has shut down, marking a defeat for coal, President Trump and other top politicians who tried to keep it open. Last year, the Tennessee Valley Authority voted to close the last coal boiler at the Paradise Fossil Plant. In February, the plant burned its last load of coal. The closure is the latest in a slew of coal plant shutdowns that’s making it tougher for the industry to bounce back. Since 2010, 500 coal burning units, or boilers, at power plants have been shut down, and no U.S. utility big or small has plans to build a new coal-burning plant.