Italy's blue-chip index .FTMIB fell 5.1 percent on Wednesday on concerns about Rome's ability to avoid being dragged further into the euro zone debt crisis, with the country's bond yields above 7 percent, widely viewed as unsustainable.

By 1546 GMT, Thomson Reuters Italy Banks Index .TRXFLDITPBANK was down 5.9 percent, while the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 was down 1.9 percent at 964.70 points.