Fed used up all their ammunition within a three-week span

Global stocks plunged Monday even after the Federal Reserve slashed its benchmark interest rate to near zero as investors remained concerned that the emergency measures won’t suffice to ward off a recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Investors sought safety in U.S. government bonds, reflecting continued anxiety about global growth prospects.

The Fed’s second emergency rate cut this month—disclosed Sunday evening—hasn’t been well-received since it appeared to investors to be a “sign of desperation,” said Terence Wong, chief executive of Azure Capital, a Singapore-based fund management firm.

“It’s basically using up all their ammunition within a three-week span,” said Mr. Wong. “There’s nothing left. They can’t use monetary loosening as part of their arsenal anymore.”

Brent crude, the global gauge of crude prices, fell over 10% to $30.38 a barrel. More than half the value of the benchmark has been erased since the start of the year as investors grew concerned about waning demand for energy, including jet fuel.

The reaction in U.S. markets showed investors were already looking past the Fed and waiting for the federal government to act with bigger stimulus measures, said Joseph Brusuelas, chief economist at RSM U.S.

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