The European Central Bank said late Wednesday it is launching a 750 billion euro ($812 billion) stimulus plan to counteract the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the European economy.
The bank said its board of governors made the move “to counter the serious risks to the monetary policy transmission mechanism and the outlook for the euro area posed by the outbreak and escalating diffusion of the coronavirus, Covid-19,” according to a statement.
Purchases will be conducted through 2020, according to the statement, which added that the amount of purchases could be increased if needed.
“The Governing Council will do everything necessary within its mandate,” according to the statement, adding “The Governing Council is fully prepared to increase the size of its asset purchase programmes and adjust their composition, by as much as necessary and for as long as needed. It will explore all options and all contingencies to support the economy through this shock.”
U.S. stock futures rose following the announcement, with contracts on the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 1.4%, those for the S&P 500 up 1.2% and those for the Nasdaq composite up 1.5%.
U.S. stocks were slammed in regular trading Wednesday as fears of the coronavirus’ economic impact continued to rip through equity markets. U.S. 10-year Treasury notes also fell sharply, pushing yields to 1.26%, their highest level since late February.