French Stocks: BNP, Credit Agricole, Dexia, STMicro, Total

France’s CAC 40 Index dropped 139.17, or 3.6 percent, to 3,689.29 in Paris, closing at the lowest level since February. The SBF 120 Index lost 3.5 percent.

The following shares rose or fell in Paris. Stock symbols are in parentheses.

Credit Agricole SA (ACA FP), France’s largest bank by branches, plummeted 66 cents, or 6 percent, to 10.40 euros. Bank stocks retreated in Europe on concern that Greece’s debt crisis will spread through the region.

Volker Kauder, the parliamentary head of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, called for the possible “orderly insolvency” of European states. The European Commission must be able to better examine the finances of member states to avoid the kind of ballooning budget deficit witnessed in Greece, Kauder told reporters in Berlin today.

BNP Paribas SA (BNP FP), France’s largest bank, sank 3.20 euros, or 6.1 percent, to 49.10 euros. Societe Generale SA (GLE FP), the country’s second-biggest bank, dropped 2.36 euros, or

5.8 percent, to 38.62 euros.

Dexia SA (DEXB BB) fell 22 cents, or 5.3 percent, to 3.93 euros, the biggest loss this year, after Societe Generale SA downgraded the largest lender to local governments in France and Belgium to “sell” from “hold.”

Entrepose Contracting (ENTC FP) climbed 1.26 euros, or 1.8 percent, to 72.81 euros, the biggest gain in a month. The oil- industry contractor said first-quarter sales rose 50 percent to

196.1 million euros. The company said it had orders worth 1.17 billion euros as of April 1.

STMicroelectronics NV (STM FP) dropped 35.3 cents, or 5 percent, to 6.74 euros, the steepest decline in more than a week. Europe’s largest chipmaker was cut to “underperform” from “selected list” at Cheuvreux, which said that “the semiconductor industry is getting ahead of market fundamentals and ahead of underlying end-demand.”

Total SA (FP FP), Europe’s third-biggest oil company, slipped 1.64 euros, or 4 percent, to 39.52 euros, erasing yesterday’s increase. Oil dropped below $86 a barrel, snapping a four-day rally, on speculation U.S. crude supplies increased last week and amid concern the debt crisis in Greece may spread and derail the recovery in global fuel demand.

Vilmorin & Cie. (RIN FP) retreated for the first time in three sessions, falling 2.77 euros, or 3.8 percent, to 71.11 euros. Europe’s second-largest seed company said fiscal third-quarter sales declined 1.6 percent to 442 million euros, hurt by a drop in the company’s field-crop seeds and garden-product units.

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