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CAC 40 Modestly Higher After Wall Street Surge

French shares were modestly higher on Wednesday after the U.S. markets recovered from an early plunge to finish sharply higher overnight.

Asian stock markets turned in a mixed performance and U.S. stock futures traded lower, keeping underlying sentiment somewhat cautious.

The benchmark CAC 40 was up 21 points or 0.40 percent at 5,182 in opening deals after losing 2.4 percent the previous day.

Fnac Darty shares jumped 4.5 percent as insurance broker SFAM bought a minority stake in the consumer electronics chain.

Sanofi slid half a percent as the pharmaceutical firm reported a significant decline in fourth-quarter net profit amid weak net sales and a tax-related charge.

In economic releases, French foreign trade gap narrowed notably in December, as exports grew much faster than imports, data from the customs office showed.

The trade deficit fell to 3.5 billion euros in December from 5.6 billion euros in November as exports recovered strongly in the month after a 2.2 percent decrease in the previous month. This was the lowest trade surplus of the year.

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