Around the World's Markets: Paris

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STOCKS NOSEDIVED again, tracking the Dow Jones index lower as investors locked in profits on a view that the markets have risen too steeply in recent weeks.

The CAC-40 index closed down 4 per cent at 3,688.34, amid heavy volumes.

The latest merger news did not help; oil company Total plummeted 12.34 per cent on arbitrage trading after announcing plans to join with Belgium's Petrofina. But many operators remained sanguine, saying they expected the index to rebound again before the year-end.