The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by almost 500 points overnight as US indices jumped following news of co-ordinated central bank action to ease liquidity concerns.
The Dow added 490 points to climb 4.2% to 12,046, its largest one-day rise since March 2009, while the S&P 500 rose 4.3% to 1,247. Both indices are now in positive territory for the year once again.
The liquidity measures, announced yesterday by the Bank of Canada, Bank of England, European Central Bank, Federal Reserve, Bank of Japan and Swiss National Bank, extended existing swap lines for banks borrowing dollars as well as lowering the cost of using such lines.
Temporary bilateral swaps will also allow any of the central banks to provide funding in any of the six relevant currencies.
Key sovereign bond yields also fell following the announcement, with Spanish 10-year yields closing 17 basis points lower at 6.2%, and Italian 10-year yields falling 21 basis points to 7%.
In Asia, the Nikkei closed up 1.9% at 8,597, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 5.7% to 19,015 in late trading despite Chinese manufacturing data showing the first month-on-month contraction since 2009.
China yesterday cut reserve ratio requirements for major lenders for the first time in three years, a move seen in some quarters as an indicator of disappointing economic data on the horizon.
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