The US Federal Reserve has kept its benchmark interest rate at a record low near zero and signalled its readiness to do more if needed to support an economy under threat from a worsening coronavirus pandemic.

The central bank announced no new actions after its latest policy meeting but left the door open to provide further assistance in the coming months.

The Fed again pledged to use its “full range of tools to support the US economy in this challenging time”.

The economy in recent weeks has weakened after mounting a tentative recovery from the deep pandemic recession in early spring.

Several Fed officials have expressed concern that Congress has failed so far to provide further aid for struggling individuals and businesses.

But the Fed’s policy statement, issued after a two-day meeting, made no mention of lawmakers’ failure to act.