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Mattarella said that he had requested a candidate for finance minister who "is not seen as a supporter of an often repeated line, which could possibly or even inevitably provoke Italy's exit from the euro". The prospect of several more months of uncertainty ahead of fresh elections could lead to financial instability and market turbulence.

In response, the 5 Star Movement chief Luigi di Maio announced that the party will launch within Parliament a move to oust Mattarella for having impeded the formation of the government by vetoing Savona and refusing to sign the list of ministers presented by the coalition.

Although the president's role is largely ceremonial, he enjoys powers such as appointing heads of government and the ability to dissolve parliament that have proven key with Italy seeing frequent political instability and numerous changes of government. Italian president Sergio Mattarella approved Conte as PM, but the stumbling block came when the latter nominated a fierce eurosceptic as finance minister.

But the euro's bounce was limited as an early election in Italy looked inevitable as the far-right League and anti-establishment 5-Star Movement abandoned plans to forge an alliance after their choice of economy minister was vetoed.

The 5-Star's Di Maio demanded impeachment under article 90 of the constitution.

Federica Mogherini says she's convinced that President Sergio Mattarella was serving the Italian people and the European Union by forcing the end of the proposed 5-Star Movement-League government.

According to a report in Politico, it's not the first time an Italian president has used their authority to refuse an appointment - although this is the first time the euro currency has been cited as a reason.

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Before Conte or Mattarella had finished their meeting, far-right League leader, Matteo Salvini, insisted the only option now was to "let the Italians have their say" and hold another election, probably later this year.

"The uncertainty over our position has alarmed investors and savers both in Italy and overseas", Mattarella said, adding: "Membership of the euro is a fundamental choice". Italy's stock market opened up 1.5 per cent.

European equities markets rose on Monday, led by the Milan FTSE MIB stock exchange, which jumped almost 2 per cent as investors backed Carlo Cottarelli, an economist formerly with the International Monetary Fund, to form a technocrat government.

He recently wrote a book, "The Seven Capital Sins of the Italian economy", which might be read as a mission statement for a new government. But he faces an uphill task getting the necessary support.

The leader of Italy's right-wing League party says he won't give ground in a standoff that is blocking the country's next government from taking office.

European stocks were slightly higher Monday morning, as investors monitored signs of thawing tensions between the USA and North Korea and reacted to renewed political turmoil in Italy.

The euro strengthened 0.6 percent against the dollar, buying $1.1718 at 8:22 a.m.in Rome.