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Moody’s cuts rating of six European countries

Published:Tuesday | February 14, 2012 | 10:15 AM

Moody's has cut the credit ratings of six European countries amid continued anxiety over the continent's debt crisis and its sluggish economy.

Italy, Malta, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain were all downgraded, while three other countries - Austria, France and the United Kingdom - had the outlook on their current triple A ratings changed to negative.

Moody's cited fragile market confidence and Europe's increasingly weak macroeconomic prospects among the reasons for the ratings changes.

The move follows similar downgrades of European nations recently by fellow rating agencies Fitch and Standard & Poor's, and comes as investors wait to see whether euro-area finance ministers will approve the latest bailout for Greece.