European stocks and the euro advanced on Tuesday as investors hoped for a positive outcome to the eurozone debt crisis despite acute concern over fallout from Italy's debt mountain.
EU finance ministers headed into Brussels talks as Italy, the eurozone's third-biggest economy, again faced record borrowing costs on markets and as its Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi faced a knife-edge vote.
Approaching midday in London, the FTSE 100 stocks index was up 1.02 percent at 5,567.66 points. Frankfurt's DAX 30 jumped 1.44 percent to 6,013.74 points and in Paris the CAC 40 won 1.32 percent to 3,144.41.
Milan gained 1.38 percent and Madrid climbed 0.84 percent.
The euro was flat at $1.3772, while the dollar dipped to 78.03 yen from 78.06 yen on Monday. Gold prices rose to $1,795.65 an ounce from $1,783.56.
Global markets were focused on the political crisis being played out in Italy and on Greece which was still locked in talks on a new cabinet.
As the eye of the debt storm has shifted from Athens to Rome in past days, eurozone leaders have sought to dampen fears about Italy's 1.9-trillion-euro debt pile by pushing it to open its books to international scrutiny.
In Rome on Tuesday, Berlusconi main coalition partner urged him to resign, ahead of a crucial vote in parliament seen as a test of the embattled premier's political support.
"We have asked him to step aside," said Northern League party leader Umberto Bossi, the main partner in Berlusconi's centre-right coalition and a long-term ally, Italian media reported.
"Collapse of the Berlusconi government today could cause a relief rally in the euro, Italian debt and stocks," said Kathleen Brooks, an analyst at traders Forex.com.
"However, this is unlikely to last as markets realise that the opposition may not be any more effective than Berlusconi," she added.
In Paris, analysts at Credit Suisse commented that "the chances that Silvio Berlusconi will survive are low."
And at CM-CIC, analysts said that "Berlusconi is close to the exit" and that his departure could boost confidence.
The yield on Italian 10-year bonds rose to 6.73 percent on Tuesday before a vote that will test Berlusconi's support in parliament following several recent defections.
The borrowing rate was at the highest since the birth of the eurozone and at a level that analysts believe is unsustainable and may even force Italy to seek a bailout.
Bank shares were meanwhile in focus following earnings updates from major lenders.
In Paris, Societe Generale surged 7.55 percent to 18.82 euros after the French bank said it was scrapping its 2011 dividend and making a "significant" cut to bonuses after a tough third quarter owing to a Greek debt write-down.
Like larger French rival BNP Paribas, the bank said it had written down 60 percent of the amount of Greek sovereign debt it holds, the equivalent of 333 million euros before tax.
Under a deal reached with eurozone leaders last month to tackle the ballooning Greek debt crisis, banks have agreed to write down at least 50 percent of the debt owed by Greece and to boost their capitalisation.
In London meanwhile, shares in Lloyds Banking Group shot up 7.82 percent to 29.85 pence. The state-rescued lender announced a net loss of £2.78 billion in the first nine months but investors welcomed news that total impairment, or bad debt charges, dropped 22 percent to £7.37 billion.
Asia-Pacific stock markets ended mixed on Tuesday, with Tokyo falling 1.27 percent, Sydney rising 0.48 percent and Hong Kong closing flat.