UK sovereign bonds have today been given a "negative outlook" by rating agency Moody's, along with those of France and Austria. All three countries are still rated AAA by Moody's, even though France had lost the triple A rating assigned by Standard & Poor's in January 2012.
Spain was downgraded to A3 from A1 with a negative outlook, Italy was downgraded to A3 from A2 with a negative outlook and Portugal was downgraded to Ba3 from Ba2 with a negative outlook, according to Moody's criteria. The agnecy also cut Slovakia’s, Slovenia’s and Malta’s ratings.
It should be noted that "negative outlook" is not quite as drastic as "negative watch", implying only a one in three chance of losing the top rating over the next 12 to 18 months.