FTSE shares rise following announcement.

See also: Government unleashes 50bn bailout plan

The Bank of England has slashed interest rates by 0.5% to 4.5%, reports the BBC.

Other central banks, including The US Federal Reserve, which cut rates from 2% to 1.5% and the European Central Bank (ECB), lowered the rate from 4.25% to 3.75%.

Similar actions weres also taken in Canada, Sweden and Switzerland.

The news follows this mornings announcement of a £50bn government rescue plan for UK banks.

The rate cut saw positive signs for FTSE 100 companies.

HBOS was the leading riser, rising almost 60% at one stage, followed by the Royal Bank of Scotland, up around 30%.