The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, March 25, 2020.
FILE - The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, March 25, 2020.

Asian markets closed mostly higher Tuesday as investors cheered good news about China’s factory output amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 328 points, or nearly 1.50%, at the closing bell, while the index in Shanghai earned just over one-tenth of one percent.

A currency trader watches computer monitors near screens showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI), left, and the foreign exchange rate between U.S. dollar and S. Korean won at the foreign exchange dealing room in Seoul, March 31, 2020.

The gains were posted after Beijing announced earlier in the day that its official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) was 52.0 in March, rebounding from a record-low of 35.7 in February.

Investors were also cheered by Monday’s surge on Wall Street, with the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and the Nasdaq all earning well over 3%.

But Japan’s Nikkei and Australia’s S&P/ASX indexes both finished in negative territory, with the Nikkei losing just under one percent and the S&P/ASX dropping 2%.  The Nikkei dropped a total of 10.5% for the month of March, its biggest monthly decline since May 2010. 

European indexes were trading in positive territory by mid-morning, with London’s FTSE, the DAX in Frankfurt and France’s CAC 40  posting gains between 1.5% and 2.5% combined. 

Oil markets also enjoyed a welcomed surge in prices after sinking to their lowest levels since 2002.  Prices have been plummeting due to fallen demand triggered by the pandemic combined with a glut of supply due to a price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia.