France and Austria lost their top credit ratings at Standard & Poor’s in a swathe of downgrades that left Germany with the euro area’s only stable AAA grade, hindering leaders’ efforts to stem the region’s fiscal crisis.
France and Austria were cut one level to AA+ from AAA and face the risk of further reductions, the rating company said in Frankfurt today. While Finland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg kept their AAA ratings, they were put on negative watch. Spain and Italy were also downgraded. The first gauge of the report’s impact will come on Jan. 16 when France sells as much as 8.7 billion euros ($11 billion) in bills.