* Renault H1 net loss 2.71 bln euros; worse than forecast

* Sales down 23.7 pct at 15.99 bln euros

* Confirms positive cash, market share boost target for 2009

* Sees market shrinking 12 pct in 2009 from 15 pct earlier

* Share down 1.25 percent

PARIS - French carmaker Renault (RENA.PA) swung to a worse-than-expected 2.712 billion euro net loss for the first half on Thursday, but now expects the world automotive market to contract less sharply this year.

Renault confirmed it aims at a positive free cash flow and an increase in market share for the full year. The group's global market share was stable in the first half at 3.7 percent while sales plunged 23.7 percent.

Renault shares were down 1.25 percent at 0939 GMT, against a DJ Stoxx European Autos index .SXAP which was little changed at down 0.06 percent.

Renault ranked 11th in the world in 2008 by production while its alliance with Nissan made it fourth after Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T), General Motors GMGMQ.PK and Volkswagen (VOWG.DE).

Hit like the rest of the car industry last year by a sharp drop in sales, Renault was forced in February to abandon its 2009 profit targets and focus instead on cutting costly stocks of unsold vehicles.

Renault now expects the world automotive market to shrink 12 percent in 2009 to just over 57 million units. It had previously predicted a drop of 15 percent but revised the outlook due mainly to the positive effect of tax incentives in the first half.

As a result Renault said it would increase production in the second half by 164,000 vehicles compared to its original plan.

Governments, especially in Europe, have implemented incentive schemes for consumers to scrap older cars which in many cases have had a dramatic effect on car sales.