BoE sees options to boost UK economy further – minutes

LONDON, March 13 (Reuters) – The Bank of England has the option to cut interest rates further and ramp up asset purchases to help lessen the economic shock of the coronavirus outbreak, minutes from this week’s emergency policy meeting showed.

On Wednesday the BoE cut its main interest rate by half a percentage point to a record low of 0.25%, as COVID-19, the flu-like infection caused by the virus, spreads rapidly, stoking fears of global recession and roiling markets.

The minutes from the Monetary Policy Committee’s (MPC) meeting stuck closely to the message given by BoE Governor Mark Carney on Wednesday.

“Should the MPC need to provide further monetary stimulus, there were a number of options at its disposal, including cutting Bank Rate further, enlarging the TFSME (Term Funding scheme with additional incentives for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises), and expanding asset purchases,” the minutes said. (Reporting by Andy Bruce, editing by David Milliken)

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