CAC 40 Tumbles Ahead Of ECB Meeting

French stocks tumbled on Wednesday as caution prevailed ahead of the European Central Bank meeting on Thursday. Amid a recent spike in euro zone inflation, the central bank is seen debating a cut in stimulus at the meeting.

The benchmark CAC 40 fell 78 points, or 1.2 percent, to 6,647 after ending 0.3 percent lower in the previous session.

Banks BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole and Societe Generale fell 1-2 percent while automaker Renault dropped 1.4 percent.

Drug major Sanofi declined 1.8 percent. The company said it has entered into a definitive merger agreement to buy Kadmon Holdings, Inc. (KDMN), the developer of Rezurock, a recently FDA-approved treatment for chronic graft-versus-host disease.

Alstom declined 2.2 percent. The French firm and S-Bahn Hamburg GmbH have signed a contract for the delivery of an additional 64 Class 490 S-Bahn trains.

In economic releases, French payroll employment increased sharply by 289,400 in the second quarter after rising 148,500 in the first quarter, Insee reported.

At the end of June 2021, payroll employment was 0.6 percent above its end of 2019 level.

Employment in the private sector increased by 265,100 and that in the public services grew 24,300 in the second quarter.

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