S&P admits error over France rating

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The Independent Online

Standards & Poor's was forced to admit last night that it had mistakenly told some of its subscribers it had downgraded France's credit rating from the top triple-A level.

S&P, however, insisted that its "ratings on Republic of France remain AAA/A-1+ with a stable outlook, and this incident is not related to any ratings surveillance activity. We are investigating the cause of the error."

French bond yields surged again yesterday, with spread between them and German bonds reaching new records, as investors fretted about France, and its banks' exposure to Italian debt.