UK and European markets climbed higher as the number of new coronavirus cases in Italy slowed for a second day.
U.S. stocks rebounded as investors hoped lawmakers were close to an agreement on a stimulus bill to rescue the economy from the damage caused by the coronavirus.
The dollar fell after the U.S. Federal Reserve committed to buy an unlimited amount of bonds.
Oil prices moved lower as demand continues to decline.
Gold rose after the U.S. Federal Reserve’s unprecedented measures to help an economy reeling from the coronavirus pandemic halted a rush for cash.
In corporate news, Rio Tinto said it will curtail operations in South Africa and Canada to comply with measures imposed by the countries' governments in response to the Covid-19 crisis. The miner said all mining at its Richards Bay Minerals operation in South Africa would cease by midnight on 26 March for three weeks.
JD Sports Fashion pulled guidance and said it was delaying publication of full-year results after the UK government ordered non-essential shops to close down in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Taylor Wimpey fell after it scrapped almost £500m of dividends as the housebuilder halted construction and closed show homes in response to the Covid-19 crisis.
Miniature wargames manufacturer Games Workshop said its performance had been hit by the Covid-19 outbreak and that it will be closing its stores, headquarters, factory and warehouses in the UK and the US with immediate effect.