G-7 major economies pledge cooperation to deal with virus

Seven major economies pledged to use “all appropriate tools" to deal with the spreading coronavirus but announced no immediate actions.

The group of major industrial countries, referred to as the G-7, said Tuesday that it was “ready to take actions, including fiscal measures where appropriate, to aid in the response to the virus and support the economy.”

The joint statement from the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Canada was issued after a conference call among the finance ministers and central bank presidents, led by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

The G-7 has issued similar statements during periods of market turmoil, such as the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

“Given the potential impacts 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,” the G-7 said.

Markets have been looking for a strong immediate response that would include coordinated rate cuts by central banks. U.S. markets, which had been gyrating, went negative. 

Investors are looking for the Fed to cut rates by their next meeting on March 17-18 and possibly before that meeting.