Singapore cenbank eases policy as virus heralds deep recession

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SINGAPORE, March 30 (Reuters) – Singapore’s central bank eased its monetary policy on Monday, as widely expected, with the city-state’s bellwether economy bracing for a deep recession due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said it would adopt a zero percent per annum rate of appreciation of the policy band starting at the prevailing level of the S$NEER, currently slightly below the mid-point of the policy band.

MAS said there will be no change to the width of the policy band.

The MAS manages monetary policy through exchange rate settings, rather than interest rates, letting the Singapore dollar rise or fall against the currencies of its main trading partners within an undisclosed band.

All nine economists in a Reuters survey this month expected the central bank to ease as policymakers worldwide step up efforts to limit the economic damage from the fast spreading virus.

Editing by Kim Coghill

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