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Global stock markets posted strong gains for a second straight session Tuesday as investors seized on signs of a slowdown in the spread of the coronavirus, while some governments began making plans to ease restrictions.

"Investors are betting that the coronavirus outbreak may have peaked and are ignoring the economic slump that we are in," said Fawad Razaqzada, an analyst with Trading Candles. But Razaqzada also said he "wouldn't be surprised if the rally were to end abruptly because the economic impact of COVID-19 is going to be severe".

In the meantime, oil was energised by hopes that key producers will agree to cut output at this week's emergency OPEC+ video meeting, which will address virus-sapped demand and a price war.

Following on from gains in Asian and European equities, Wall Street also posted solid gains in the late New York morning when the Dow was up by more than 600 points.

"Equities are still racing higher, as the news from key countries like Spain and Italy remains positive," said IG analyst Chris Beauchamp. "Stocks continue to rally as investors look for the positives in the current global outlook."

Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai stocks all finished around two percent higher.

After the close in Japan however, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a month-long state of emergency in the capital and six other parts of the country over a spike in virus cases.

In Europe, key indices were off the day's best levels, but still posted gains of more than two percent at the close.

Adding to the positive vibe were further measures to support economies, including a trillion-dollar package in Japan and central bank moves in China.

And with the ink barely dry on a $2 trillion rescue plan passed by Congress last month, Donald Trump said he favoured another massive spending programme -- again roughly $2 trillion -- this time targeting infrastructure projects.

The head of the Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers on Tuesday called for a major rescue plan, as EU members squabble over what is needed to rebuild the shattered economy. Mario Centeno, who is also Portugal's finance minister, called for a "bold response" ahead of a videoconference with his counterparts.

However, analysts do not believe that a proposal to issue "coronabonds" -- that would pool borrowing among EU nations -- is going to gain any traction. "The inability of eurozone ministers to agree on the subject of coronabonds is a clear sign of disharmony in the region," said Rabobank analyst Jane Foley.
London - FTSE 100: UP 2.1 percent at 5,697.30 points (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 2.8 percent at 10,356.70 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 2.1 percent at 4,438.27 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 2.2 percent at 2,857.23

New York - Dow: UP 2.8 percent at 23,316.17

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 2.0 percent at 18,950.18 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 2.1 percent at 24,253.29 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: UP 2.1 percent at 2,820.76 (close)

Brent North Sea crude: UP 0.7 percent at $33.28 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: UP 1.4 percent at $26.45

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0890 from $1.0793 at 2100 GMT

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 108.92 yen from 109.22

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2332 from $1.2231