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French Stocks: Areva, BNP, Michelin, Renault, STMicro, Vallourec

France’s benchmark CAC 40 Index fell 1.32, or less than 0.1 percent, to 3,749.23 at the 5:30 p.m. close in Paris.

The following shares rose or fell in the French equity market today.

Areva SA (CEI FP) advanced 1.5 percent to 341.7 euros, a fifth straight increase. France and India signed a preliminary contract for nuclear reactors and services worth about 7 billion euros ($9.3 billion), Areva Chief Executive Officer Anne Lauvergeon told reporters in New Delhi.

BNP Paribas SA (BNP FP) declined 1.4 percent to 48.18 euros as banking shares were the worst performers in Europe. Credit Agricole SA (ACA FP) and Societe Generale SA (GLE FP) fell 2.3 percent to 9.95 euros and 1.8 percent to 38.58 euros, respectively.

Carrefour SA (CA FP) lost 2.5 percent to 32.27 euros after plunging 9.1 percent last week. The world’s second-largest retailer had its price estimate cut to 36 euros from 45 euros at Morgan Stanley.

Hermes International SCA (RMS FP) retreated 0.5 percent to 149.8 euros after family shareholders stepped up their defense against a possible takeover by LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA.

Michelin & Cie. (ML FP) dropped 3 percent to 54.58 euros, ending a three-day increase. UBS AG downgraded the world’s second-largest tiremaker to “sell” from “neutral.”

Renault SA (RNO FP) advanced 1.7 percent to 44.58 euros, the highest price in two years. Societe Generale, which has a “hold” rating on the carmaker, said in a note that “we see an effective improvement in the group’s financial situation which should allow it to reimburse the remaining part of the French state loan in 2011.”

Rexel SA (RXL FP) rose 3.1 percent to 16.65 euros, the highest price since July 2007. The world’s largest distributor of electrical equipment expects to spend between 300 million euros and 400 million euros a year on takeovers to 2013, Investir said, citing an interview with Chief Executive Officer Jean-Charles Pauze.

STMicroelectronics NV (STM FP) gained 2 percent to 7.62 euros, extending a 7.1 percent increase on Dec. 3. Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc upgraded Europe’s largest semiconductor maker to “buy” from “hold,” while Jefferies Group Inc. raised a price estimate on the shares to 10 euros from 6.8 euros.

Total SA (FP FP) rose 1 percent to 38.44 euros, gaining for a fifth day. Total and Ineos are close to signing a partnership aimed at generating savings at French refineries, daily Les Echos reported, citing an unidentified person.

Vallourec SA (VK FP), a producer of steel pipes for the oil and gas industry, gained 2 percent to 74.34 euros, ending a two-day loss, following oil and gas shares higher in Europe.

Oil traded near its highest price in 26 months on speculation the U.S. may extend stimulus measures, bolstering demand in the world’s largest consumer of crude.

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