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French Market Rises

The French market rose on Monday, after Spanish debt concerns rattled markets in the Asia/Pacific. Banks were under pressure on reports that several of them could be downgraded in the coming weeks.

The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is adding 0.51 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is advancing 0.77 percent.

The CAC 40 index is currently gaining 0.98 percent.

Technip is gaining 2.3 percent. Total is rising 1.9 percent.

GDF Suez is rising 2.2 percent. The utility said its wholly-owned subsidiary Electrabel S.A. has agreed to buy from International Power the remaining 30 percent stake that it does not already own in the British utility for a sweetened offer of 418 pence per share in cash.

Airplane maker EADS is gaining about 2 percent.

Renault and Peugeot are rising 1.7 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively.

Bouygues is rising 1.4 percent. Bouygues Construction's unit, Bouygues Bâtiment Île-de-France, has been declared the tender winner for the refurbishment of the celebrated Ritz Hotel, situated in the Place Vendôme in Paris.

Lafarge is losing 1.1 percent. Societe Generale cut the stock to "Hold" from "Buy."

BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole and Societe Generale are declining between 3.4 percent and 2.8 percent.

Elsewhere in Europe, the German DAX is adding 0.74 percent and Switzerland's SMI is advancing 0.51 percent.

In economic news, Eurozone's trade balance moved to a surplus in February, but was lower than forecast by economists, data from Eurostat showed.

Across Asia/Pacific, markets ended mostly lower. Australia's All Ordinaries dropped 0.5 percent, China's Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.09 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 0.44 percent and Japan's Nikkei 225 retreated 1.74 percent.

In the U.S., futures point to a slightly higher open on Wall Street. In the previous session, the major averages saw further downside going into the close, ending the session near their worst levels of the day. The Dow slid 1.1 percent, the Nasdaq tumbled 1.5 percent and the S&P 500 fell 1.3 percent.

In the commodity space, crude for May delivery is falling $0.20 to $102.63 per barrel while June gold is losing $10 to $1650.2 a troy ounce.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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