European stocks extended gains Wednesday amid reports of a multi-billion euro rescue plan for failing Italian lender Banca Monte dei Paschi di Sienna (BMDPY) .
Britain's FTSE 100 added 100 points, or 1.5%, by 11:30 GMT as mining and financial stocks powered session gains. Germany's DAX performance index jumped 156 points, or 1.5% to a 52-week high of 10,937 points amid a rise in bank shares across the Continent. France's CAC-40 rose 0.87%.
Deutsche Bank (DB - Get Report) added to Tuesday's 10% advance with a further 3.2% jump to change hands at €17 each, the highest since April 29. It's domestic rival, Commerzbank (CRZBY) , added 3.9% to trade at €7.29.
Italy's FTSE MIB gained 1.4%, or 245 points by mid-day in Milan led by a 3.6% gain for the FTSE Italy Banks Index.
Italy's La Stampa newspaper reported Wednesday that the government is set to ask the European Stability Mechanism, the region's permanent bailout fund, for a €15 billion loan that would take the lender, Italy's third-largest, under taxpayer control.
Several reports Tuesday also indicted that government was ready to step-in and rescue MPS after its plans to raise €5 billion in private capital were unsuccessful following the defeat of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's reform package in Sunday's constitutional referendum.
Italy's benchmark 10-year government bonds, known as BTPs, continued to improve with price rises taking Wednesday's opening yield to 1.90%, around the same level it traded prior to Sunday's referendum. With 10-year German bunds trading at 0.36%, the extra yield, or spread, that investors demand to hold BPTs narrowed to 1.54%
Europe's momentum follows on from another solid session in Asia, where Japan's Nikkei 225 closed 0.7% higher, extending gains to a second consecutive day. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index aded 0.55% to close at 22,800.92.
Australia's S&P/ASX index also gained on the day, rising 0.9% as the Australian dollar fell following news that the country's economy contracted for the first time since 2008.
Oil markets gave back some of their recent gains overnight, following the first down session in five in the U.S., as investors continued to question OPEC's ability to meet agreed production cuts, but rebounded somewhat in Europe ahead of U.S. crude inventory data later in the trading session.
WTI for January delivery rose 0.3% to $51.03 per barrel while Brent crude futures for the same month, the global benchmark, added 0.17% to $54.02.
U.S. stocks edged modestly higher on Wall Street Tuesday with the S&P 500 up 0.34%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average adding 0.19%, clinching another record of 19,251 and the Nasdaq gaining 0.45%.
Futures prices point to a mixed open later Wednesday, with the Dow building on its record close by adding about 13.5 points, the S&P 500 dipping about 1 point and the Nasdaq gaining 1 point.