The Federal Reserve announced an emergency rate cut on Tuesday in response to the viral outbreak, trimming the nation’s benchmark borrowing rate by 0.5 percentage points.

The move comes after finance ministers from the G-7 convened via teleconference with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to determine an economic strategy to defend against any impact from the coronavirus.

Wall Street spiked immediately after the surprise announcement was made.

The Fed’s monetary-policymaking arm, the Federal Open Market Committee, is due to meet March 17-18.

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