22:40 GMT31 March 2020
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    Futures contracts tied to the main US stock indices, including Dow Jones, S&P, and Nasdaq futures, dropped on Wednesday evening, despite a series of measures taken by the US government to stabilise the economy.

    Dow Jones Industrial Average futures have dropped more than 900 points as of 11.06 pm on Wednesday.

    Earlier, however, Dow Jones futures were 225 points higher after the European Central Bank (ECB) announced its Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP) to curb the impact of the new coronavirus disease. S&P and Nasdaq futures were also higher tonight.

    The new ECB programme of $819 billion aims to conduct purchases of securities until the end of 2020 to support the euro against the risks posed by the COVID-19 spread.

    Meanwhile, stocks fell sharply on Wednesday despite the US Federal Reserve moving to support the economy amid the coronavirus outbreak by cutting the federal fund rates to zero. The Dow Jones index plunged by 1,338.46 points, hitting its worst mark since 2017. S&P and Nasdaq indexes also fell by 131.09 and 344.94 points, respectively.

    As the COVID-19 outbreak is raging in the United States, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has announced it will temporarily close its trading floor and move to electronic trading starting on 23 March at the open.

    As of today, over 7,000 cases and at least 97 fatalities have been registered, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All 50 US states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands have reported cases of COVID-19.

    epidemic, New York Stock Exchange, fears, virus, investors, Wall Street, finance, United States
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