Euro zone banks jump, Italian yields fall on report ECB discussing new cheap bank loans

Euro zone bank shares jumped and Italian government bond yields fell on Wednesday after Bloomberg reported the European Central Bank is holding discussions on the design of new ultra-cheap bank loans.

The ECB meets on Thursday amid speculation that it is getting ready for a fresh round of stimulus via cheap bank loans.

The loans known more formally as Targeted Long-Term Refinancing Operations (TLTROs) are expected to boost troubled euro zone lenders. The euro zone banks index rose to a day's high, up 0.2 percent.

Italian government bond yields also briefly extended falls as investors cheered the report. Italy's 10-year government bond yield touched its lowest level in just over a month at 2.661 percent and was last down 4 basis points on the day.

The euro fell to a two-week low at around $1.12855.