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French Stocks Decline, Led by Banks; BNP Paribas, Technip Fall

May 7 (Bloomberg) -- French stocks declined for a fourth day, extending this week’s slump on the CAC 40 Index, as the biggest monthly increase in U.S. employment in April failed to ease concern the debt crisis in Greece will spread.

“The lack of a clear end game for for sovereign risk in Europe means that despite recent sharp declines in markets, this is not a buying opportunity,” Larry Hatheway, the chief economist at UBS AG wrote in a report to clients today. “No solution appears in sight for an orderly restructuring of Europe’s sovereign or private sector debt.” force, indicating the recovery is becoming self-sustaining.

The benchmark CAC 40 retreated 163.52, or 4.6 percent, to 3,392.59, the lowest level this year. The drop brought this week’s slump to 11 percent. All 40 stocks on the measure posted declines today. The gauge has slid 17 percent from this year’s high on April 15.

Credit Agricole SA, France’s biggest bank by branches, sank 7.2 percent to 9.06 euros, a fourth straight decline. The lender’s corporate and investment bank has 2.4 billion euros ($3 billion) of commercial commitments in Greece.

The bank also has sovereign risk of 850 million euros and interbank risk of 180 million euros, it said today. Greek risk held by the bank’s insurance business comes to slightly less than 400 million euros, it said.

BNP Paribas, France’s biggest bank, dropped 5.7 percent to 43.93 euros and Societe Generale SA plunged 8 percent to 32.77 euros.

In the U.S., payrolls jumped 290,000 last month, more than the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, after a revised 230,000 increase in March that was larger than initially estimated, figures from the Labor Department in Washington showed today. The April gain included 66,000 temporary workers hired by the government to help conduct the 2010 census and a 231,000 rise in private payrolls.

Technip SA, Europe’s second-largest oilfield-services provider, dropped 3.8 percent to 52.88 euros, falling for a fourth day. Crude oil is poised for the biggest weekly decline in 16 months on speculation that the European debt crisis will detail global economic recovery.

To contact the reporter on this story: Adam Haigh in London at ahaigh1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Merritt at dmerritt1@bloomberg.net.

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