The Reserve Bank of Australia building in Sydney. Agence France-Presse
Australia’s central bank on Tuesday cut interest rates for the second time in as many months as it strives to revive a sluggish economy and reduce unemployment, a tough task that may yet require even more stimulus.
Central banks in Asia, Australia and New Zealand (NZ) have joined a brewing global currency war by slashing interest rates and pledging to keep them down, worrying markets over the risk of a chase to the bottom.
Australia's central bank on Tuesday forecast the economy would suffer its largest ever contraction in the first half of the year, sending the unemployment rate into double-digits.
Australia on Thursday unveiled its biggest shakeup in bankruptcy laws in nearly three decades, allowing small businesses to trade while insolvent and take more control over debt restructuring, in a bid to help firms through the coronavirus crisis.
Global shares stumbled on Friday as hopes of a fiscal boost from a $1.9 trillion US stimulus plan were smothered by the prospect of stricter lockdowns in France and Germany and a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in China.
The Italian government has approved a new stimulus package worth 32 billion euros ($38.8 billion) to prop up the battered economy, pushing this year’s budget deficit significantly higher than previously planned.
Pakistan and Bangladesh are rationing gas and buyers across South Asia are seeking alternative fuels after spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices surged to record highs, government and industry officials told Reuters.