Euro-zone finance ministers said on Monday they are ready to adopt measures to improve the region's capacity to resist contagion, including enhancing the flexibility and the scope of its bailout fund.
The euro firmed marginally after the ministers' statement, which was issued after a meeting in Brussels.
Following are comments from investors and market analysts:
ALBERTO BERNAL, HEAD OF RESEARCH, BULLTICK CAPITAL MARKETS, MIAMI:
At this point in time, I think the market is looking to action, not necessarily promises. This may reduce some of the pressure because it shows the leaders are aware of what's happening. But in order to contain the contagion to Italy, we need to see something tangible.
I don't know what that is going to be -- maybe further sovereign bond buying on the secondary market by the ECB or the EFSF, a more viable interest-rate environment, or maybe allowing the EFSF to bid on primary debt auctions of these countries.
ANTIN BLAISE, HEAD OF SOVEREIGN RESEARCH AT TCW, LOS ANGELES:
The first takeaway is that these guys are still in a place where they haven't made any final decisions.
I'm not convinced that they figured a way to ring-fence Greece. I know they said they did not talk about Italy, but I find it very hard to believe that the subject of Italy did not come up. It strikes me as implausible because Italy is a part of the larger contagion story.
MICHAEL FEROLI, CHIEF U.S. ECONOMIST, JP MORGAN, NEW YORK:
From what we can see, it looks like it could potentially be a positive development. It's giving a little bit of a lift to the euro. It's not necessarily a game-changer but it's a little bit of a signal about expanding the EFSF, or making it more flexible. That could be positive.
Right now, it's just a comment. You're starting to see just as the crisis progresses, a continued willingness to experiment with new responses and be a little bit more creative.
Each time we say it's going to be enough, but it doesn't turn out that way. All we have right now are headlines about possibilities. I don't think what we're seeing now in the market is going to stop until we see action. If it's aggressive enough and large enough, then it could possibly do the trick.
NIC PIFER, SECTOR LEADER OF THE GLOBAL RATES AND CURRENCY TEAM, COLUMBIA MANAGEMENT, MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA:
Perhaps the most interesting headline out of this is the willingness to enhance the flexibility scope of the EFSF. I view the EFSF as a half-baked safety net at the moment on its way maybe to being three-quarters baked when they up the size, and give it enhanced flexibility.
But I don't really see too much in these headlines that is dramatically new.
Given the sort of massacre in the front end of some of these peripheral bond markets in the last few days, it is kind of interesting to see how relatively stable the euro has been.
MOHAMED EL-ERIAN, CO-CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER AT PACIFIC INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT CO., NEWPORT BEACH, CALIF.:
European officials are scrambling to regain the initiative following a further sharp deterioration in market sentiment. To succeed, words would need to be accompanied by actions that address the root causes of the dislocations.
(Reporting by Jennifer Ablan, Daniel Bases, William Schomberg and Walter Brandimarte; Editing by Jan Paschal and Andrew Hay)