Asia extended Monday's rally following a surge on Wall Street, as fresh cases were slowing in Spain, Germany, Italy and France
HONG KONG: Equities rose again Tuesday as investors seized on signs of a slowdown in the spread of the coronavirus in key hotspots and some governments began making plans to ease restrictions aimed at containing the disease.
Crude prices were also lifted by hopes major producers will agree to cut output this week, while the pound clawed back some of its losses that came in response to news Prime Minister Boris Johnson was in intensive care.
Asia extended Monday's rally following a surge on Wall Street, with much-needed optimism on news that fresh cases were slowing in Spain, Germany, Italy and France.
And in the US epicentre New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo said that for the first time the growth rate there was flat, while on Tuesday, China where the disease first emerged late last year -- reported no new deaths for the first time since January.
Meanwhile, Denmark and Austria have started making plans to lift restrictions slowly as they see light at the end of the tunnel.
"You can't say that we've definitely turned the corner for certain but it does appear as though that is a good sign," Mark Heppenstall, at Penn Mutual Asset Management, said.
Tokyo stocks ended the morning more than one percent higher, while Hong Kong gained 0.6 percent and Shanghai jumped 1.7 percent as investors returned from a long weekend to play catch-up with Monday's advance.
Seoul, Taipei, Singapore, Manila and Wellington were also more than one percent higher, though Sydney and Jakarta fell slightly.
Adding to the positive vibe were further measures to support economies around the world, 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.
But while the mood is a little better on trading floors, analysts remained cautious.
"Still, the market will need to come up for air as for the real economy to recover the pace of play will be dictated more by (governments') willingness to relax social distancing measure, and the COVID-19 curve would probably need to flatten much more," said AxiCorp's Stephen Innes.