Share prices surged around the world yesterday as central bankers and policymakers unveiled an unexpected range of measures aimed at stopping the financial turmoil from spilling out to the wider economy.
In the US, the Bush administration caved in to political pressure to lift portfolio caps on government-backed mortgage lenders, after criticism over the handling of the meltdown in the US subprime mortgage market.
Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were granted additional flexibility by federal regulators to assist distressed homeowners refinance out of high-risk subprime loans into more affordable mortgages.
美國聯邦監管機構向聯邦住宅抵押貸款公司(Freddie Mac)和聯邦國民抵押貸款協會(Fannie Mae)授予了更大的靈活度，允許其協助陷入困境的房屋所有者進行再融資，將高風險的次級貸款轉為更能承受的抵押貸款。
The reversal in policy will give the lenders the flexibility to 「purchase or securitise, over the next six months, up to $20bn or more of subprime mortgages」, a US regulator said.
These steps, combined with Tuesday's decision by the Federal Reserve to cut US rates by 50 basis points, bolstered confidence among some investors that policy makers are now becoming willing to take whatever measures necessary to stave off the serious credit squeeze. In the UK, the Bank of England performed a policy shift by announcing plans to inject funds into the stricken three-month money markets – a step that it had indicated it was highly reluctant to take.
「Political realities are overruling」 other worries such as the risk any assistance would encourage lenders to be reckless in the future, said ING Barings.
這些措施，以及美聯儲(Fed)周二降息50個基點的決定，提振了一些投資者的信心，使其認為，決策者開始願意採取任何必要的措施，避免出現嚴重的信貸緊縮。在英國，英國央行(Bank of England)也轉變政策，宣布計劃向遭受衝擊的三月期貨幣市場注資。該行此前曾暗示，它極其不願採取這一措施。
Asian stock markets surged yesterday. Hong Kong led the way with a 4 per cent jump, with the Hang Seng index breaking through the 25,000 barrier for the first time as local rates dropped in line with the Fed's cut. Markets in Mumbai, Singapore, Seoul and Tokyo rose by more than 3 per cent. Indian shares also hit a lifetime high, with the benchmark index piercing 16,000.
In London, the FTSE 100 rose 2.8 per cent while on Wall Street, S&P 500 was 0.8 per cent higher in afternoon trading. Short-term money market rates also fell in the UK and US in response to recent policy moves. However, economists warned that it was still far too early to assume that the final chapter of this year's market turmoil is now over.
亞洲股市昨日大漲，其中香港股市領漲，躍升4％。由於受美聯儲降息的聯動影響，港元利率下降，恒生指數(Hang Seng index)首次突破25000點大關。孟買、新加坡、首爾和東京股市漲幅均超過3％。印度股市也創下歷史新高，其基準股指突破16000點大關。
在倫敦，富時100指數(FTSE 100)上漲2.8％。而在華爾街，標準普爾500指數(S&P 500)在後市交易中上漲0.8％。由於最近的政策措施，英美貨幣市場短期利率也有所下降。但經濟學家警告稱，認為今年的市場動蕩已經結束還為時過早。
英國《金融時報》喬安娜•鍾(Joanna Chung)、哈維爾•布拉斯(Javier Blas)、吉蓮•邰蒂(Gillian Tett)倫敦、約恩•卡倫(Eoin Callan)華盛頓報導