On Monday, Asian shares jumped while the euro stay firmed on expectations that Europe will be coming up with some concrete steps this week toward activating a crucial euro zone bailout fund and reports that the IMF is evaluating helping Italy.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS saw a high of more than 2 percent after it slumped to its lowest level since early October on Friday to mark a fourth consecutive week of declines. The Nikkei .N225 of Japan also gained almost 2 percent after hitting its lowest in two and a half years on Friday.
A report in Italian newspaper La Stampa suggested that the International Monetary Fund was preparing a rescue plan worth up to 600 billion euros for Italy, more than the fund can currently provide on its own; the report bolstered sentiments of traders.
A source with knowledge of the matter said the contacts between Rome and the IMF had intensified but added it was unclear what form of support could be offered if a market sell-off on Monday forced immediate action.
France and Germany were exploring radical proposals ahead of the European Union summit on December 9 for more rapid fiscal integration, possibly with fewer than the 17 countries making up the eurozone, according to officials.
The finance ministers of Eurozone would be meeting on Tuesday and detailed operational rules for the region's bailout fund, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), are ready for approval that would pave the way for the 440 billion euro facility to draw cash from investors.
"Talk about radical fiscal integration with fewer countries is slightly positive as it sounds like a pragmatic approach," said Yuji Saito, director of the foreign exchange division at Credit Agricole Bank in Tokyo.