The U.S. Federal Reserve, acting with five other central banks, took steps Wednesday to boost the troubled global financial system by making it cheaper for banks to trade in U.S. dollars.
The Fed -- along with central banks of the eurozone, England, Japan, Switzerland and Canada -- announced a coordinated plan to lower prices on dollar liquidity swaps beginning on December 5, and extending these swap arrangements to February 1, 2013.
The effort is meant to "ease strains in financial markets," the Federal Reserve said in a press release.
Meanwhile, the People's Bank of China also announced a plan to increase liquidity Wednesday by lowering its reserve requirement ratio for financial institutions by half a percentage point.
U.S. stock futures surged after the announcement and European markets rose sharply.
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