Having already agreed to buy a troubled European rival and been stung by rising credit costs in the United States, the French banking company BNP Paribas SA is sounding cooler on U.S. acquisitions than it did a few months ago.

Executives at the parent company in Paris and its BancWest Corp. unit in San Francisco said after BNP released its third-quarter results — which were dragged lower by U.S.-related credit hits — that they are being cautious in the near term.

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