Fed Goes For A Big Slash

The US Federal Reserve has slashed its key interest rate from 1% to a range of between zero and 0.25% as it battles the country's recession.

In its statement, the Federal Reserve warned that "the outlook for economic activity has weakened further".

It predicted that rates would stay at the current exceptionally low levels "for some time".

The Dow Jones industrial average jumped by more than 351 points — a rise of more than 4 per cent— within an hour of the Fed's decision,

However, equity analysts said that the early rally on Wall Street might not necessarily follow through on to European stock markets on Wednesday morning and in coming sessions.

The pound rose to $1.56 in late-night trade against the dollar, but fell against the euro to 1.1083.