Norway's central bank became the latest to cut interest rates to safeguard its economy against the impacts of COVID-19.
Norges Bank's monetary policy and financial stability committee voted unanimously at an "extraordinary meeting" to slash the policy rate by 75 basis points to 0.25%, effective March 23. It follows a 50 basis points cut earlier this month and is the lowest policy rate implemented by the central bank.
"Since Norges Bank cut the policy rate last week, the situation in the Norwegian economy has continued to worsen," a statement accompanying Friday's decision. The bank cited closed businesses, an increase in unemployment, financial market stress and a depreciation in the currency as reasons for the cut.
"The committee does not rule out that the policy rate may be reduced further," the statement said.
The Bank of Thailand also held a "special meeting to assess the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the economic outlook and domestic financial markets functioning," a statement on its website said.
The bank's monetary policy committee voted unanimously to cut the policy rate to 0.75%, down 25 basis points, effective March 23. "The committee viewed that the COVID-19 outbreak in the period ahead would be more severe than previously expected and the situation would take some time before returning to normal," the statement said.
Also Friday, The Central Bank of the Russian Federation announced the key interest rates would remain unchanged at 6%, despite market stress caused by the coronavirus.
The moves Friday follow a number of other central banks announcing interest rate decisions as a result of the coronavirus.
On Thursday, The Reserve Bank of Australia cut interest rates to 0.25%, down 25 basis points, and announced an asset purchase program.
The Bank of England cut interest rates by 15 basis points to 0.1%. It was the first interest rate decision made under Gov. Andrew Bailey. The bank's previous governor, Mark Carney, had already announced a 50-basis-point cut, March 11.
And while it did not go so far as announcing a cut to interest rates, the European Central Bank on Thursday unveiled a €750 billion ($846.7 billion) Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program to combat the economic impacts of COVID-19, March 19.
Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee lowered the target range for the federal funds rate to zero to 0.25% on Sunday. Interest rates were cut from a range of 1% to 1.25%, which had been set March 3.