Two journalists close to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said he could resign as early as Monday, immediately boosting bond and stock markets.

Giuliano Ferrara, editor of the Foglio newspaper and a former minister seen as extremely close to Berlusconi, said on its website: That Silvio Berlusconi is about to resign is clear. It is a question of hours, some say of minutes.

Franco Bechis, vice-director of the pro-Berlusconi Libero newspaper, said on Twitter Berlusconi would resign on Monday night or Tuesday morning.

(Editing By Barry Moody)