UK markets soared in afternoon trading on Tuesday, jumping 9% at the close, after a strong start on Wall Street as investors reacted to widespread talk from around the world to pledge big stimulus measures to insulate economies from the spreading coronavirus.

The benchmark FTSE 100 index jumped to 5,446.01, led by a selection of financials, resources stocks and a strong rebound by cruise operator Carnival, which soared nearly 30% to £10.62. Oil major Royal Dutch Shell was another big gainer, rallying more than 20% to £12.96.2.

All three of the major US markets rallied at the open, with the S&P 500 jumping 8%. The Dow Jones was even stronger, up more gthan 9% while the tech heavy Nasdaq made 7% gains.

In corporate news, shoe and sportswear retailer JD Sports Fashion jumped 19% to 432p, even as it shuttered all of its stores in the UK, US and Europe.

JD Sports said it would continue to accept online orders and that it had 'more than adequate' cash and debt resources to ride out the storm.

Mining company Rio Tinto advanced 15% to £35.555, despite announcing that it would halt and slow down operations in South Africa and Quebec, Canada, respectively, due to government moves to combat Covid-19.

Fellow miner Anglo American rose 21% to £13.20. while announcing that it was reviewing its options in South Africa.

Betting firm 888 was a big winner on Tuesday after flagging busier casino and online betting during the current lockdown. Shares in the business jumped more than 30% to 110p.

Home builder Redrow firmed 8% to 365p even as it joined a long list of companies deciding to cancel their dividends.

Redrow said it hadn't yet felt pain from Covid-29 but expected its sales rate to be 'seriously impaired' over the coming weeks.

Luxury handbag maker Mulberry soared 23% to 163p, while warning it now expected to make a small loss in the second half of its financial year after closing its UK stores.

Going the other way was miniature wargames retailer Games Workshop. It saw its share price plunge more than 4% to £41.06 after it also closed all of its stores, plus its headquarters, factory and warehouses.

Logistics company Eddie Stobart moved nearly 4% higher to 12.25p as it experienced an 'exceptional rise' in volumes usually seen around Christmas.

The company, however, suggested it was too early to draw conclusions about the impact on its financial performance.

Polling and data analytics company YouGov jumped 6% to 425p, having revealed a 27% rise in first-half adjusted profit.

YouGov said it hadn't yet been hurt by Covid-19 but was reviewing spending as a precaution.

Furniture and flooring retailer ScS lost earlier gains to dip 3% to 150p, as it touted the strength of its balance sheet, having closed its stores and distribution network.

Outdoor advertising company Ocean Outdoor bounced off earlier lows to stay flat at $0.055, having warned its performance would fall short of previously published market expectations as the coronavirus shrinks demand for advertising.

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Issue Date: 24 Mar 2020