Chairman Jerome Powell says Fed ready to protect economy amid coronavirus fears

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell sought to reassure markets that the central bank would protect the economy from the fears over the coronavirus outbreak, signaling that it would cut interest rates if needed.

“The fundamentals of the U.S. economy remain strong,” Powell said in an unscheduled statement Friday. “However, the coronavirus poses evolving risks to economic activity.”

“The Federal Reserve is closely monitoring developments and their implications for the economic outlook,” he said. “We will use our tools and act as appropriate to support the economy.”

This is a developing story.

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