(ABC News Australia) Paris police have fired water cannon and tear gas to repel “yellow vest” demonstrators from around the Arc de Triomphe monument in the ninth straight weekend of protests against French President Emmanuel Macron’s economic reforms.

Thousands of protesters also marched noisily but peacefully through the Grands Boulevards shopping area in northern Paris, close to where an unrelated gas explosion in a bakery killed two firefighters and one Spaniard, and injuring nearly 50 early on Saturday.

Central Paris was in lockdown against another feared eruption of violence by radical elements in the “gilets jaunes” (yellow vest) movement, with bridges across the Seine river closed and official buildings such as parliament and the Elysee presidential palace protected by police barriers.