French finance minister Bruno Le Maire called the deal the most important in the EU’s history. The €500 billion (£430billion) will available immediately, with the rest being given to chosen countries. It came after Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said that the coronavirus pandemic could cause the collapse of the EU and he wanted EU countries to take on a bigger share of eurozone-wide debts.
He said: ‘If we do not seize the opportunity to put new life into the European project, the risk of failure is real.
‘We are not demanding that Germany and the Netherlands pay our debts, I’m calling for the fiscal rules to be relaxed.
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‘Otherwise we’ll have to write off Europe and everyone will do their own thing.
“We can’t end up with ‘operation successful: patient dead’.’
FTSE 100 LIVE: The EU was forced to agree a historic COVID 19 deal
European stock markets gained for a fourth straight day on Thursday.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index closed up 1.6 percent to end a holiday-shortened week 7.4 percent higher – its best week since 2011.
London’s FTSE led the charge among European majors, up 2.9 percent.
Sentiment was buoyed by data showing France’s coronavirus hospital deaths slowed and Spain’s new cases eased, but the main lift of the session came as Wall Street indexes jumped after the Fed rolled out a $ 2.3 trillion program to bolster local governments and businesses.
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6.33am update: US banks prepare to seize energy assets as shale boom goes bust
Major US lenders are preparing to become operators of oil and gas fields across the country for the first time in a generation to avoid losses on loans to energy companies that may go bankrupt, sources aware of the plans told Reuters.
JPMorgan Chase & Co, Wells Fargo & Co, Bank of America Corp and Citigroup Inc are each in the process of setting up independent companies to own oil and gas assets, said three people who were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
The banks are also looking to hire executives with relevant expertise to manage them, the sources said.
6.01am update: Wall Street rises on latest Federal rescue program
Wall Street closed out the trading week on a high note on Thursday as the US Federal Reserve unleashed another program designed to buoy local governments and businesses crushed by massive closures to stem the coronavirus outbreak.
The S&P 500 index posted it best weekly gain since 1974, in a holiday-shortened week, bolstered by early signs that the outbreak was hitting a peak as well as aggressive global stimulus.
Under the Fed’s $ 2.3 trillion package, the US central bank said it would work with banks to offer four-year loans to companies of up to 10,000 employees and directly buy bonds of states and more populous counties and cities.
“Buying junk bonds, pretty much unexpected, so a very strong open, and all the beaten-up names, including energy, they took off,” said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment strategist at Inverness Counsel in New York.
The financial index was up 5.19 percent, providing the biggest boost to the S&P 500, as banks rose sharply on the Fed’s backstop. J.P. Morgan rose 8.97 percent, leading gains on the Dow. Shares of the iBoxx High Yield Corporate Bond Fund climbed 6.55 percent.
That helped take the sting out of another tough report on the labor market, with weekly initial jobless claims topping the 6 million mark for a second straight week.