Date: Saturday, August 06, 2011 12:02 +0900 (JST)
US credit rating agency Standard & Poor's says it has lowered its long-term credit rating on US government bonds by one notch to AA-plus from its highest AAA level.
The agency said on Friday it lowered the rating because the deficit reduction plan agreed by the government and Congress is not sufficient.
This is the first downgrade of US government bonds by a major credit rating agency.
The enactment of legislation to raise the government debt ceiling kept the US from falling into the worst-case scenario of a default. But the legislation does not include plans for large-scale spending cuts.
Some investors say the downgrade by S&P could become a factor in destabilizing financial markets, reducing the credibility of the dollar as a key currency and fueling the yen's rise.
Several analysts are predicting an impact on financial markets on Monday.
US bonds' loss of the top-notch rating could also have effects on financial markets because China, Japan, and other national governments and financial institutions hold a large amount of US Treasuries.
Other major credit rating agencies -- Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings -- say they will keep their US Treasury ratings unchanged at the safest levels.
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