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CAC 40 Slides As Trade Tensions Intensify

French stocks drifted lower on Wednesday after White House chief economic adviser Gary Cohn, an advocate for free trade, resigned from the Trump administration, raising concerns that Trump will go ahead with his plan to impose tariffs and risk a trade war.

Renewed worries about the potential impact of a trade war overshadowed easing geopolitical concerns after North Korea said it is willing to talk about denuclearization.

The benchmark CAC 40 was down 22 points or 0.43 percent at 5,148 in opening deals after closing 0.1 percent higher in the previous session.

Aerospace company Airbus was marginally lower after Hawaiian Airlines ditched an order for six Airbus A330neo jets.

Accor Hotels shed 0.8 percent after private equity company Eurazeo said it would sell its remaining 4.20 percent stake in the company to institutional investors through an accelerated book building process.

Alstom fell over 1 percent after acquiring railway Internet provider 21net.

Publicis Groupe declined 2.2 percent after reports that Procter & Gamble is accelerating its efforts to transform the business of marketing.

In economic releases, France's foreign trade gap widened notably at the start of the year, as exports fell and imports rose, data from customs office showed.

The trade deficit widened to 5.6 billion euros in January from 3.4 billion euros in December. The expected shortfall was 4.45 billion euros.

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