Standard & Poor’s Downgrades France and Austria to AA Rating


French TV reported today that Standard and Poor’s downgraded France’s credit rating.
CNBC reported:

Standard & Poor’s has downgraded France’s credit rating, French TV reported Friday, while several other euro zone countries face the same fate later in the day, according to reports.

Germany and the Netherlands aren’t among those facing a downgrade, a senior euro zone government source told Reuters. Another source confirmed “several” countries would be hit.

“Remain alert tonight when U.S. markets close,” said another euro zone source.

Germany and The Netherlands will be spared this time.
Reuters reported:

Standard & Poor’s is set to downgrade the credit ratings of several euro zone countries later on Friday, but not those of Germany and the Netherlands, a senior euro zone government source said.

Another source confirmed “several” countries would be hit.

French TV, citing a government source, said France’s credit rating would be downgraded and another source said Slovakia, the euro zone’s second poorest country currently rated A+ by S&P, would suffer the same fate.

“Remain alert tonight when U.S. markets close,” said another euro zone source.

UPDATE: France and Austria lose AAA rating.
The AP reported:

France’s finance ministry says Standard & Poor’s has cut the country’s credit rating by one notch to AA.

France’s loss of its AAA-rating deals a heavy blow to the eurozone’s ability to fight off its debt crisis. The country is the second-largest contributor to the currency union’s bailout fund.

S&P in December put 15 eurozone countries on creditwatch and other downgrades were expected later Friday.

The cut in France’s creditworthiness could also hurt President Nicolas Sarkozy’s re-election chances.

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