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Powell Opens Door to Rate Cut on ‘Evolving’ Risks From Virus

  • Fundamentals of the U.S. economy remain strong, Fed chair says
  • Says coronavirus poses ‘evolving risks’ to economic activity
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Coronavirus Puts Fed in a Tough Spot, Loomis Sayles' Eagan Says
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Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the coronavirus “poses evolving risks” to the U.S. economy and signaled the central bank is prepared to cut interest rates if necessary to sustain the country’s longest-ever expansion.

The rare statement issued Friday by Powell before the financial markets closed for the U.S. weekend came as stocks posted their seventh-straight daily loss, a slump which earlier prompted a string of Wall Street banks to predict the Fed would start reducing rates at its meeting next month, if not sooner.