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MILAN/FRANKFURT: European shares rose on Wednesday as focus remained on a busy day of earnings, with Italian shares outperforming after President Sergio Mattarella looked set to ask former European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi to form a government.

Milan’s FTSE MIB index jumped 2.2%, while Italy’s 10-year bond yield tumbled to its lowest in two weeks as Mattarella summoned Draghi for talks at 1100 GMT after hearing that efforts to salvage the collapsed coalition of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte had failed.

“The reports that Mario Draghi has been asked to try to form a new government in Italy has unsurprisingly gone down well with investors,” said Jack Allen-Reynolds, senior Europe economist at Capital Economics.

The STOXX 600 index rose 0.7% for the third straight day, with Novo Nordisk A/S jumping 4.2% after the diabetes drug maker gave upbeat sales and profit forecasts for 2021.

Siemens AG rose 1.7% as the German engineering company raised its 2021 outlook after beating first-quarter expectations on a faster-than-anticipated recovery from the COVID-19 downturn in China and Germany.

Publicis Groupe SA rose 6.2% after the world’s third-biggest advertising group, beat market expectations for fourth-quarter organic growth thanks to its data company Epsilon.