Italy stock market welcomes new government

Italy's benchmark FTSE Mib index in Milan rose sharply shortly after opening on Monday, reflecting enthusiasm for the country's new coalition government and relief a two-month political deadlock is over.

At around 0740 GMT, the index was up 1.64 percent at 16.837 points.

New Prime Minister Enrico Letta, who was sworn in along with the rest of his cabinet on Sunday, is set to present his programme to parliament later Monday, which is expected to include measures to tackle the social fallout of Italy's longest recession in 20 years.

"This seems to be very good news for Italy," said Erik Nielsen, chief economist at Italy's Unicredit bank.

The new cabinet, which includes younger ministers and more women, "symbolises both a generational change in Italian politics and a less partisan approach to politics," he said.

The government faces its first real test with a five- and ten-year bond auction later Monday.

The Mediaset company owned by former premier Silvio Berlusconi led the rise, up 3.19 percent.

Berlusconi's protege Angelo Alfano was made deputy prime minister and interior minister, in a move which critics fear will give the media magnate considerable influence in the new government.