Milan, April 24 - Encouraged by the nomination of a new Italian premier, mandated to form a government, the country's major financial exchange gained ground on Wednesday. On the Milan Stock Exchange, the FTSE Mib rose by 0.44% to close Wednesday's trading at 16,563 points. Other European markets showed even greater gains, bolstered by signs that the European Central Bank could cut its key lending rate next week. In Italy, markets showed signs of optimism after President Giorgio Napolitano gave Enrico Letta of the Democratic Party (PD) the mandate to form a new government. That gave investors new hope of some political stability in Italy, which helped to narrow the spread between Italian and German debt. The spread closed Wednesday's trading at 276 basis points, just a bit wider than the previous day's close of 268 basis points. The yield on ten-year Treasury bonds closed at 4.00%. The spread between lending rates in the two countries is seen as an indication of investor faith in the Italian economy and its ability to cope with a lingering recession. On other European markets: Frankfurt's DAX rose by 1.32% to reach 7,759.03 points, while Paris's CAC 40 jumped by 1.58%, closing at 3,842.94 points, and London's FTSE 100 ended the trading day 0.40% higher, closing at 6,431.76. Spain's IBEX 35 took a dramatic jump on the day, closing up by 1.21% to close at 8,389.30 points.