New York — The US Federal Reserve on Monday rolled out an extraordinary array of programmes to backstop an economy reeling from sweeping restrictions on commerce that scientists say are needed to slow the coronavirus pandemic.

For the first time, the Fed will back purchases of corporate bonds, backstop direct loans to companies and “soon” will roll out a programme to get credit to small and medium-sized business. It also said it will expand its asset purchases by as much as needed to stabilise financial markets...

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