Around the World's Markets: Paris

PRICES closed down but off their lows as gains on Wall Street supported the market in the afternoon after a day of profit-taking. The CAC-40 index closed 16.81 points lower at 3,698. "There's not a lot of volume, Michelin fell through the floor and Rhone-Poulenc was trying to come back higher after crashing," said a dealer.

Defensive stocks did better as some investors sought to avoid emerging market problems and concentrated on companies with the bulk of business in Europe.