Saturday, January 14, 2012

“Systemic stresses” trigger euro credit downgrade

Paris - International bond traders got a boost from the world's premier credit rating agency, something that will drive bond debt rates much higher in coming months.

By the same token, the dollar gained value as the euro fell to a 17-month low on the strength of the news.

Standard & Poor's cited “ongoing systemic stresses” to justify a credit-rating downgrade of 9 European countries.

Choosing Friday the 13th to make the announcement, the agency announced it will cut France's triple-A rating to AA+, as well as those of Italy, Spain, Cyprus and Portugal. Included in the credit cut are Italy, Spain, Cyprus and Portugal.

Germany, Belgium, Ireland, Finland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Estonia were spared, their credit ratings left intact.

S&P said it had determined “the policy initiatives that have been taken by European policymakers in recent weeks may be insufficient to fully address ongoing systemic stresses in the eurozone.”

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