French Finance Minister Francois Baroin
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Downgrade for nine eurozone countries including France

France has lost its top AAA credit rating from Standard & Poor's and many other eurozone governments have also been downgraded by the ratings agency.

Rumours of S&P's move prompted stock markets to fall earlier in the day.

London's FTSE 100 ended the day down 0.5% and Frankfurt's Dax 0.6%, while the Dow Jones in New York fell 0.7%, although it was widely expected that the ratings cuts were coming.

Italy and Spain were also downgraded, but Germany kept its AAA rating.

Gavin Hewitt reports.

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