Macroeconomic round up: The Bank of Japan does the unthinkable

Jason Walls breaks down Japan's drastic economic steps. With special audio feature.

Japanese stocks are still suffering after the Bank of Japan (BoJ) took a drastic step in the fight against inflation last week, after adopting negative interest rates for the first time in its history.

The move has been described as a “blindside” by some commentators.

Japan has been struggling with a lack of inflation for a while and policy makers are hopeful the negative rates will hope to bluster some inflation.

"Recently, global financial markets have been volatile against the backdrop of the further decline in crude oil prices and uncertainty such as over future developments in emerging and commodity-exporting economies, particularly the Chinese economy," the BoJ said in a statement accompanying the decision.

In the days after the decision, Japanese stocks fell – helped along by the strong yen and low oil prices.

On the other side of the world in South America, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has officially declared the Zika virus a public health emergency.

With just months until the Rio Olympics, there are rising concerns over Brazil’s wavering economic health. 

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