There was further financial turbulence on Tuesday when stock markets around the world climbed sharply higher, as investors grappled with the economic impact of the coronavirus.
In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 11.4% – its biggest daily gain since 1933.
The S&P 500 and London’s FTSE 100 enjoyed their best days since the 2008 financial crisis, rising more than 9%.
The increases follow weeks of losses driven by a global economic slowdown.
Business activity in the US and eurozone sank to the lowest level on record in March, according to survey data from IHS Markit, as authorities closed schools, shut businesses and limited travel in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.
$1.8tn rescue package
Many countries are now working on finance packages to cushion the economic blow, but plans have received mixed responses from investors.
In the US, congressional leaders said they were close to a deal on a relief package worth more than $1.8tn, which would include money to bailout industries that have been affected by the crisis.
Any action by the US government would follow aggressive efforts by the Federal Reserve, including its pledge to buy as much government debt as needed to soothe markets, while also lending directly to businesses.
On US stock markets, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and American Airlines were among the companies posting the biggest gains, rising 42% and 36% respectively. The spike followed comments made by President Donald Trump, who said he wanted to ease measures restricting gatherings by Easter, despite a surge of Covid-19 cases in the US.
The share price gains were global, however. Germany’s Dax increased almost 11%, while France’s CAC 40 rose 8.4%.
Earlier, Asian stocks also increased.
Japan’s Nikkei soared 7%, its biggest daily gain in four years, while South Korea’s KOSPI exchange climbed 8.6% after the government doubled a planned economic rescue package. In China – where restrictions on Wuhan Province were finally eased – mainland shares increased almost 3%.