US agrees $2tn stimulus in response to Covid-19
US lawmakers have agreed a $2tn package of fiscal measures to support American households and businesses hit by the coronavirus crisis.
The deal is the biggest congressional bailout in US history and the world's largest national response to a crisis that threatens to tip the world economy into recession.
Details were hammered out overnight in Washington between the Republican Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and his Democrat counterpart Chuck Schumer. Measures include funds to bail out big US companies and to support households.
Schumer said the final deal had four extra months of unemployment insurance for workers who lose their jobs. It also bans bailed-out airlines from buying back shares or paying bonuses to bosses while receiving taxpayer support. Businesses controlled by President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, members of Congress and other top officials will be excluded from government aid.
McConnell said the package was a "wartime level of investment in our nation". Schumer said the bill was not perfect but urged congress to pass it quickly.
Stock markets responded favourably as the world's biggest economy ended wrangling to come up with emergency support measures. The FTSE 100 rose 4.5% to 5,689.12 at 09:04 GMT. Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 8% and the Euro Stoxx 50 gained 3%.