European stock markets and the euro rose on Tuesday on prospects that central banks would announce action to boost economies, while Barclays shares jumped after the shock resignation of its chief executive.
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index climbed 0.35 percent to 5,661.37 points approaching midday in the British capital.
Frankfurt's DAX 30 gained 0.80 percent to 6,547.90 points and in Paris the CAC 40 won 0.26 percent to 3,248.62. Madrid's IBEX 35 grew 0.31 percent.
In foreign exchange deals, the euro advanced to $1.2592 from $1.2582 late on Monday in New York.
"European equity markets are trading moderately higher... managing to hold on to yesterday's solid gains," said ETX Capital trader Markus Huber.
"It will be interesting to see if stocks can keep the current rally going as much seems to be built on expectations that the ECB will lower rates on Thursday due to a flood of rather dismal economic data since the last meeting.
"However judging from the past, a cut in interest rates is anything else than a done deal with the ECB having resisted pressure to do so several times before."
The European Central Bank will announce any new measures at the end of its latest monthly meeting on Thursday, when the Bank of England is widely expected unveil its own fresh stimulus measures to boost recession-hit Britain.
Official data on Monday showed unemployment across the 17-nation eurozone at a euro-era high level of 11.1 percent while manufacturing purchasing managers indices continued to show activity contracting, though some PMIs exceeded expectations.
World stock markets and the euro leapt last week after European leaders agreed to use emergency funds to support ailing banks directly and to ease pressure on governments' debt burdens through bond purchases, if necessary.
They also agreed to contribute $150 billion to boost growth.
On Tuesday meanwhile, all eyes were on British bank Barclays, whose share price rose 3.0 percent to 173.50 pence after chief executive Bob Diamond resigned, caving in to political pressure over a rate rigging scandal which may trigger criminal charges.
"Barclay's shares were initially sold off on the news that the scandal had taken another of the bank's largest scalps with questions on exactly how far and where this would extend," said Andrew Taylor, market strategist at GFT trading group.
Diamond, high profile and highly paid, had faced growing calls to go but it was thought he might save his job and ride out the storm thanks to the resignation of Barclays' chairman Marcus Agius on Monday.
Agius is now expected to step down only after leading the search for a new chief executive to replace Diamond.
The scandal, which might implicate other international banks, concerns manipulation of the Libor and Euribor interest rates.
These benchmark rates play a key role in global markets, affecting what banks, businesses and individuals pay to borrow money. Libor is a flagship London instrument used throughout the world. Euribor is the eurozone equivalent.