Asia stock markets close mixed after Moody's downgrade

14 February 2012 09:23  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asian stock markets closed mixed on Tuesday after ratings firm Moody’s Investors Service lowered its credit outlook for the UK, France and Austria and downgraded six eurozone countries including Spain, Portugal and Italy.

China’s Shanghai Composite closed 0.3% lower, while South Korea’s Kospi index fell by 0.15%.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index rose by 0.15%, while Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average ended 0.59% higher.

Moody's late on Monday downgraded the sovereign debt ratings of Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Malta by one notch and warned that its top rating for the UK, Austria and France is at risk.

The ratings agency kept its top rating for UK, France and Austria, but dropped their outlooks to “negative” from “stable”.

The sovereign debt ratings adjustments for those countries “reflect their susceptibility to the growing financial and macroeconomic risks emanating from the euro area crisis and how these risks exacerbate the affected countries' own specific challenges”, Moody’s said in a statement.

By: Nurluqman Suratman

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