(Reuters) - China, Europe and Britain loosened monetary policy in the space of less than an hour on Thursday, signaling a growing level of alarm about the world economy, although suggestions of coordinated action were played down.
Of the three, the surprise move was from Beijing which lowered its lending rate by 31 basis points to 6 percent following an interest rate cut just a month ago which also came out of the blue.
The European Central Bank cut rates to a record low 0.75 percent following a dire run of economic data. But it steered clear of bolder moves such as reviving its government bond-buying program or flooding banks with more long-term liquidity.
The Bank of England, whose rates are already at a record low 0.5 percent, said it would restart its printing presses and buy 50 billion pounds ($78 billion) of assets with newly created money to help the economy out of recession.
"It is a surprise that they are moving so quickly. It shows that policymakers' concerns about the global economy have only grown," Mark Williams, an economist at Capital Economics in London, said of the People's Bank of China's action.