World stock markets have fallen on reports that ratings agency Standard & Poor’s is about to downgrade some eurozone countries.
Rumours that France and Austria were set to lose their top AAA ratings sent London’s FTSE 100 down 0.5% and Frankfurt’s Dax 0.6%, while the Dow Jones in New York fell 0.8%.
However, reports suggest Germany will not lose its AAA rating.
S&P declined to comment, but an announcement is expected later.
The euro hit a new 16-month low against the dollar of $1.263, before rebounding.