European stocks soared on Wednesday in line with a rally in Asia, with investors hunting for bargains after heavy falls and welcoming a German court ruling aproving eurozone bailouts.
The euro also benefited, climbing to $1.4055 from $1.3992 late in New York on Tuesday. The dollar fell to 77.20 yen from 77.68 yen on Tuesday.
Frankfurt's DAX 30 index surged 2.10 percent to 5,303.37 points in late morning deals, London's FTSE 100 jumped 1.85 percent to 5,252.77 points and in Paris the CAC 40 rallied 2.40 percent to 3,036.20.
The Madrid market advanced 2.30 percent, Milan 2.89 percent and Stockholm 2.0 percent.
Global markets had fallen sharply at the start of the week, with banking shares particularly hit hard by fears of a return to recession and as concerns mounted over the eurozone debt crisis.
"A late rally in US markets last night and a positive session in Asia trading has helped to convince bargain hunters to make their move in Europe today," said Joshua Raymond, chief market strategist at City Index traders.
"A ruling in the German Constitutional Court to reject a series of lawsuits aimed at blocking German participation in eurozone bailouts was well received by the market," he added.
Germany's top court ruled on Wednesday that aid for Greece and rescues for other eurozone countries is legal but said parliament must have greater say in any future bailouts.
In a landmark ruling anxiously anticipated on jittery financial markets, the Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe, western Germany, said all "large-scale" future aid packages must be approved by the parliament's budget committee.
The ruling comes at a time of high political tension in Europe's other major economies over the debt crisis, with governments struggling to get deep reform and austerity measures through parliament.
"There has been considerable speculation recently that much of the developed world is slipping back towards recession and that there are strong parallels with (the financial crisis in) 2008," Flor O'Donoghue, an analyst at Davy stockbrokers in Dublin, said on Wednesday.
"In such an environment, the nervousness of investors has been manifested in many ways: for instance, equities have fallen sharply and investors have fled to the perceived safe havens of gold and the Swiss franc."
The Swiss National Bank took markets by surprise on Tuesday when it announced a minimum exchange rate of 1.20 francs per euro, saying the high value of the franc was a threat to the economy.
"That such a move was deemed necessary highlights some of the stresses in the global financial system at present," said analyst O'Donoghue.
"Many of the concerns, of course, relate to the eurozone area. Among the recurring worries are whether the likes of Greece and Italy have the willingness to implement budget and debt measures and whether Germany is prepared to act as a backstop."
In Asia meanwhile, shares rebounded sharply on Wednesday as bargain hunters moved in to take advantage of recent falls and traders pounced on a weakened yen.
Tokyo jumped 2.01 percent, Seoul soared 3.78 percent and Shanghai closed up 1.84 percent.
Japanese exporters led the upward charge after the yen weakened in the wake of the currency move by the Swiss central bank, which sparked speculation that the Japanese government might have decided to crimp the stubbornly high yen.
The Japanese currency rose on Wednesday after the Bank of Japan kept its key interest rate at a record low and did not unveil any new monetary easing measures.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which lost more than two percent in the first minutes of trade on Tuesday, closed down 0.90 percent, as US traders returned to work after a long holiday weekend in the United States.