Washington : IMF warns of dangers from flood of unconventional policies.

Recent gains in global financial markets despite the pandemic downturn's ''huge'' uneconomic  uncertainties are a potential threat to the recovery if investors abruptly change their minds, the International Monetary Fund [IMF] cautioned on Thursday.

Markets have cheered the massive support provided by governments and central banks, and seem to expect a quick recovery even though forecasts and consumer confidence are more pessimistic, the IMF said in its latest Global Financial Stability Report.

But the paper warns of the dangers lurking in the future from the flood of ''unconventional'' policies that have left the global economy awash with easy money.

''Investors seem to be betting that lasting strong support from several banks will sustain a quick recovery even as economic data points to a deeper-than-expected downturn,'' said Tobias Adrian, Director of the Fund's Monetary and Capital Markets Department.

''This divergence  raises the spectre of another correction in risk asset prices should investors' attitude change, posing a threat to the recovery,'' Adrian said in a blog post on the report.

The IMF now projects the global economy will contract by 4.9% this year, according to the updated  World Economic Outlook released on Wednesday, and warned that the crisis is not over.

Debt and Equity markets retreated sharply in the early weeks of the pandemic, but have since regained much of the lost ground and the gap between the value and the current price has hit  ''historic highs'' in advanced economies, according to IMF staff calculations.

The concern is that any setback - like a second wave of infections, a deeper recession or broadening social unrest could trigger a sharp turnaround that would jeopardize the recovery.

European and US stock markets sank on Wednesday with investors worried over rising coronavirus infections in several countries as well as renewed trade tensions between Brussels and Washington.

The unprecedented and unconventional support authorities providing liquidity, lending and low  interest rates, ''has undoubtedly cushioned the impact of the pandemic on the global economy and lessened the immediate danger faced by the global financial system,'' the report said. [AFP]


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