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Italy avoids downgrade into junk, as S&P affirms its credit rating at BBB

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S&P Global Ratings said it did not downgrade Italy's credit rating, keeping it at BBB, a relief to bondholders who were largely expecting S&P to cut the country's credit rating to below investment-grade, or "junk" status. A BBB rating is two notches above junk. S&P, however, said it could lower Italy's credit rating if its public debt levels failed to move towards a clearly discernible downward path over the next three years. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced countries across the eurozone to impose punishing lockdowns, shriveling up tax revenues. At the same time, Rome has launched stimulus policies that are likely to strain the public finances of the country with the second highest levels of public debt in the eurozone. The 10-year Italian government bond yield TMBMKIT-10Y, 1.772% fell around 13 basis points to 1.86%. Bond prices move in the opposite direction of yields.

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