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The Independent Online

THE BENCHMARK CAC-40 index closed sharply lower on Thursday in a session dominated by block trades.

The index closed down 1.15 per cent at 4,326.44 extending its losses in the last hour of trading as Wall Street consolidated Wednesday's strong gains. A weak euro also affected sentiment although the European currency recovered from a new low of $1.0407.

One trader said: "On the euro level a wait and see attitude prevails but there is no panic."