U.S. stock market indexes posted strong gains in Tuesday's afternoon trading.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose three percent, the S & P 500 advanced 3.6 percent, and the NASDAQ moved up 3.3 percent.

European stock markets were higher at the close of trading. London's Financial Times 100 index gained 1.4 percent to finish at 4,123. The CAC-40 in Paris rose 2.4 percent to close at 3,153, and the DAX in Frankfurt moved up 3.1 percent to hit 4,532.

In Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei index plunged 6.4 percent to finish the day at 7,864. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng dropped five percent to end at 13,406.

The price of gold rose more than $11 to trade at $780.47 an ounce.

The dollar was higher against the yen but lost value compared to the euro.