Spain lost its AAA credit grade at Fitch Ratings as Europe battles a debt crisis that has prompted policymakers to forge an almost $1 trillion bailout package for the region's weakest economies.
The ratings company on Thursday cut the grade one step to AA+ and assigned it a "stable" outlook, according to a statement from London. Spain has held the top rating at Fitch since 2003. Standard & Poor's lowered Spain's ratings to AA on April 28, Denver Post reports.
World equities slid and the euro fell on Friday after a downgrade of Spain's credit rating sent a new chill through markets already worried about the European debt crisis.
The downgrade by Fitch Ratings ignited a new round of selling in equities that were already lower after lackluster U.S. economic data injected a note of caution ahead of long holiday weekends in both the United States and the UK.
Fitch downgraded Spain's credit rating to AA-plus, and said it expects the country's adjustment to a lower debt level will materially reduce its rate of economic growth over the medium-term, according to Reuters.
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