Around the World's Markets: Paris

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THE CAC 40 closed sharply lower, down by 1.59 per cent at 4,368.17, after the Dow failed to recover from profit taking overnight. Oil stocks were heaviest hit, contributing nearly 30 points of the CAC's 70-point loss, with Elf closing down 5 per cent and Total down 6.15 per cent.

Traders said the price swings were irrational as Brent crude oil prices were still strong and the dollar only slightly weaker. They said selling could reflect investor unease about a market correction.