EL MUNDO (Spain), LE FIGARO (France) BLOOMBERG (U.S.),
MADRID - At the beginning of the week, Spain was supposed to have been saved. So much for that: Moody's downgraded Spain's debt rating three steps to Baa3. The main reason for this downgrade "is obviously the need of Spain's government to ask for external help," Kathrin Muehlbronner, senior analyst at Moody's, told Bloomberg.
Clearly, the 100 billion euros ($125 billion) set aside by the EU to help save Spain's banking sector have not convinced the ratings agency, and "Spain is on review for further downgrade," Bloomberg adds.
Asian stock fell following this announcement, with Japan's Nikkei down 0.2%, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index sliding 1.2%. European markets were heading in the same direction, with the French stock market also lost 1.09 percent this morning, according to the French newspaper Le Figaro.
A second Spanish bailout plan is now considered, El Mundo reports. According to Alberto Matellán, director of macroeconomics and strategy for the Spanish brokerage firm Inverseguros, Spain has nevertheless "not reached the critical point." A markets strategist at IG Markets, quoted by the Spanish newspaper, concludes: "What we need now to reassure the markets are decisions at the European level."