London’s FTSE 100 index soared almost 3% in early trading, buoyed by hopes of united support from major central banks.
On Monday Japan’s central bank said it would intervene to help protect markets from the impact of the coronavirus.
This mirrored a similar pledge from the US Federal Reserve on Friday to stop more big falls on global stock markets.
Last week saw major stock markets suffer their worst weekly performance since the 2008 financial crisis.
There is hope that central banks around the world will now work in unison to support financial markets as the coronavirus outbreak spreads.
The Bank of England said it continues to monitor developments and is assessing its potential impacts on the global and UK economies and financial systems.
“The Bank is working closely with HM Treasury and the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) – as well as our international partners – to ensure all necessary steps are taken to protect financial and monetary stability,” a spokesman said.
In a rare emergency statement, Bank of Japan (BOJ) Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said the central bank would take necessary steps to stabilise financial markets: “Overseas and domestic financial markets continue to make unstable movements due to heightening uncertainty over the impact on the economy from the spread of the coronavirus.”
Asian markets reacted positively to the BoJ move on Monday with China’s Shanghai Composite index up 3.2%, while Japan’s benchmark index, the Nikkei 225, ended the day 1% higher.
Last week concerns about the outbreak wiped more than $5 trillion off global stock markets.
China economy hit
On Monday the privately-run Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index showed the fastest rate of contraction in China’s factory activity since the survey was launched in 2004. That followed the release on Saturday of equally weak official numbers.
Both sets of data come after employers across the country were ordered to remain closed after the annual Chinese New Year holiday as part of attempts by authorities to stem the spread of the virus.
The falls, which were even worse than the slump seen during the 2008 global financial crisis, highlighted the outbreak’s huge impact on the world’s second-largest economy.
Over the weekend senior officials in President Donald Trump’s administration also tried to soothe concerns about the impact of the outbreak, highlighting the US economy’s underlying strength.
US Vice President Mike Pence, who is leading the administration’s response to the coronavirus, said that the stock market “will come back”, adding that “the fundamentals of this economy are strong”.
The fall in global stocks last week was similar in size to the biggest ever one-day fall in October 1987, which became known as Black Monday.
Stephen Clapham, the founder of Behind the Balance Sheet, was working in the City in 1987. “Somebody described this as carnage. This is not carnage, 1987 was carnage,” he told the BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme this morning.