Around the World's Markets: Paris

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FINANCIAL stocks led a 1.13 per cent rally in Paris as merger mania spread across the border from Germany.

The CAC-40 index of leading shares rose 43.02 points to close at 3,845.81.

BNP, Societe Generale, and Axa powered the index higher in heavy trading.

BNP was up nearly 8 per cent to close at 429 francs, while SG rose nearly 5 per cent to end at 921 francs. Shares in SG have now risen by 22 per cent in five days.