Moody's has followed fellow ratings agency Standard & Poor's lead with a mass downgrading of European credit ratings. Spain, Italy, Portugal, Malta, Slovakia, and Slovenia—all of whose ratings were cut by S&P last month—were downgraded a notch. The agency also revised its outlook on France and Britain's triple-A rating to "negative," Bloomberg reports.
Moody's said the downgrades were triggered by "uncertainty over the euro area’s prospects for institutional reform of its fiscal and economic framework," and a weak economic outlook that threatens "the implementation of domestic austerity programs and the structural reforms that are needed to promote competitiveness." Moody's is alone among ratings agencies in downgrading its outlook for Britain. Although it was last to downgrade Spain and Portugal, it now grades them lower than its rivals, the Wall Street Journal notes.