Coronavirus: G7 fails to assuage investors with policy statement

With the coronavirus triggering a global panic, investors were looking forward to the G7 meeting for a strong response.

But the statement released on March 3 failed to lift investor sentiments with US stock index futures indicating that the fall is set to continue after the tepid response.

“Given the potential impact of COVID-19 on global growth, we reaffirm our commitment to use all appropriate policy tools to achieve strong, sustainable growth and safeguard against downside risks,” it said in a statement.

“Alongside strengthening efforts to expand health services, G7 finance ministers are ready to take actions, including fiscal measures where appropriate, to aid in the response to the virus and support the economy during this phase,” the statement added.

“G7 central banks will continue to fulfill their mandates, thus supporting price stability and economic growth while maintaining the resilience of the financial system,” the statement said.

The group consists of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

“We welcome that the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and other international financial institutions stand ready to help member countries address the human tragedy and economic challenge posed by COVID-19 through the use of their available instruments to the fullest extent possible,” the statement added.

While Tuesday’s conference call will be the first effort to coordinate actions by the world’s top economies, officials have already been making statements seeking to reassure investors that they stand ready to cushion shocks to markets or the wider economy.

The outbreak has now killed more than 3,100 people and infected over 90,000 as it spreads around the world.

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Updated: March 3, 2020 — 1:58 pm

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