Milan stock exchange rises by 1.6% to pre-crisis levels
FTSE Mib surpasses 20,000 points, European indexes soaring15 January, 19:59
The FTSE Mib closed at 20,045 points after passing the 20,000 mark last seen July 5, 2011.
The spread between Italy's 10-year bond and German Bunds closed at 203 points, down from 207 basis points at Tuesday's close, with the yield on Italian ten-year paper at 3.86%. The spread between ultra-safe German bonds and the Italian equivalent gives an indication of how investors view prospects for the Italian economy.
Markets cheered as the FTSE Mib passed 20,000 points, a sort of benchmark for the pre-crisis period.
Soon after the Milan index last saw that level, financial markets were hit hard as the eurozone crisis began, combining a government debt crisis, a banking crisis and a growth-and-competitive crisis.
While the crisis started in Greece, it quickly struck at confidence in numerous other European markets - including Italy.
For months it was feared that Italy would fall into a Greek-style meltdown, a situation that led to the resignation of former premier Silvio Berlusconi in November 2011 and the appointment of a caretaker government headed by former European commissioner Mario Monti.
Almost all of Europe's major stock exchange indexes were rising at the end of the trading day Wednesday. Frankfurt's DAX hit a new record at 9,733.81 points after rising by 2.03%, while Paris was up 1.35% with the CAC 40 at 4,332.07, London was up by 0.78% with the FTSE 100 at 6,819.86, and Madrid rose 1.38% leading the IBEX 35 to close at 10,525.00.