March 18, 2020 / 12:45 PM / 17 days ago

Taiwan stock intervention fund to meet as markets swoon

TAIPEI, March 18 (Reuters) - Taiwan will on Thursday hold a meeting of its National Stabilisation Fund, which can be activated to intervene in the stock market, the Finance Ministry said on Wednesday, as stocks on the island continue to fall on coronavirus worries.

Taiwan’s stock market is down 23% so far this year, and closed down 2.3% on Wednesday at its lowest level in more than three years.

The fund will meet to discuss the state of the markets and economic situation and will if needed take “necessary steps to stabilise the domestic market”, the Finance Ministry, which controls the fund, said in a statement, without elaborating.

Taiwan’s central bank will also on Thursday hold its quarterly meeting where it is expected to cut its policy rate for the first time since 2016 as the coronavirus threatens the island’s export-reliant economy, which is a key part of global technology supply chain.

Taiwan, whose largest trading partner is China, cut its estimate for 2020 economic growth to 2.37% last month, citing the threat from the outbreak.

Taiwan has reported 100 cases of the virus, with the number of infected people rising fast in the past few days, mostly those who have been infected abroad. (Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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