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CAC 40 Rises Led By Banks

French stocks rose on Friday as Chinese trade data proved to be a mixed bag and another report showed Eurozone industrial activity witnessed a minor improvement in May, after the recent downturn.

China's exports fell 1.3 percent on a yearly basis in June, slightly slower than the 1.4 percent drop economists had forecast. At the same time, imports slid 7.3 percent annually versus the expected fall of 4.6 percent in June.

Closer home, Eurozone industrial production rebounded at a faster than expected pace in May, largely driven by consumer goods output, figures from Eurostat revealed.

Industrial output grew 0.9 percent month-on-month in May after declining 0.4 percent in April. This was the first increase in four months. Production was forecast to grow 0.2 percent.

The benchmark CAC 40 was up 25 points or 0.46 percent at 5,577 after declining 0.3 percent on Thursday.

Banks led the surge, with Credit Agricole and Societe Generale rising around 2 percent. BNP Paribas advanced 1.2 percent.

Automakers also traded higher, with Renault climbing 1.5 percent and Peugeot adding 2.2 percent.

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