Les Bleus now have 17 points from eight matches and can seal their place in next year's finals when they host Albania and Bosnia in October.
Romania, who along with Belarus have 12 points from eight games, retain only slim hopes of finishing in second position.
"I can say that 95 percent we have missed qualification," Romania captain Razvan Rat told state television.
Bosnia, who beat Belarus 1-0 on Tuesday, are in second place with 16 points from eight games.
Sepp Blatter, president of football's ruling body FIFA, watched from the stands as Banel Nicolita forced a good early save from France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
Nicolita tested Lloris again with a free-kick in the 28th minute but he stretched to tip the ball over the crossbar.
The best France could offer was a header from Karim Benzema that flew wide following a cross by Franck Ribery in the 34th minute.
Romania lost possession on the edge of their area in the 63nd minute but France midfielder Yohan Cabaye could not take advantage, firing well off target.
Ribery then collected a pass from Bacary Sagna four minutes later and slipped past two defenders before going close from a tight angle.
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