Banks and exporters led Asian stock markets lower Friday as uncertainty over the European economic situation continued. Asia awoke Friday to learn Standard and Poor’s had cut Spain’s long-term sovereign credit worthiness from AA to AA-. Fitch credit ratings agency also downgraded UBS’s issuer default rating from A+ to A, just weeks after the latest
Concerns that governments are less likely to come to the rescue of financial institutions prompted Fitch credit ratings agency to downgrade its outlook for several major banks. Credit Suisse was placed on ratings watch, Morgan Stanley was placed on watch negative, UBS was downgraded to A from A-plus late Thursday as Fitch completed a review
The European Commission has proposed changing European Union foreign aid programs to focus more on the world’s poorest nations. In a policy paper published Thursday, EU Development Commissioner Andris Pielbags says the 27-nation EU must adapt the way it fights poverty to make sure that every euro of aid reaches those who need it most.
Two former world leaders are being recognized for contributions to the fight against hunger during a ceremony in Des Moines, in the central U.S. state of Iowa. The World Food Prize organization is awarding Ghana’s John Agyekum Kufuor and Brazil’s Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva for “visionary leadership” in reducing poverty and malnutrition in their
Slovakia has approved expansion of Europe’s bailout fund for the continent’s debt-ridden countries, becoming the 17th and final nation needed to complete action on the plan. Slovak lawmakers Thursday committed their central European government to a $10 billion share of the $596 billion fund. The approval vote came just two days after Parliament had rejected
The U.S. trade deficit with China reached a record high in August. The gap between what China buys from U.S. companies and what the Chinese sell in the American market was $29 billion in August. Thursday’s report from the Commerce Department says the overall U.S. trade deficit with the world ($45.6 billion) was nearly unchanged
European Union governments consider next week whether to cut a food aid program benefitting more than 13 million poor people. Those supporting the cuts argue that national governments should provide the food assistance. But charities warn the proposed cuts would be disastrous for some of Europe’s most vulnerable residents – at a time of growing
The U.S. Congress has approved free trade pacts with South Korea, Colombia and Panama – the first such accords passed during Barack Obama’s presidency. Backers say the trade deals will boost U.S. exports by $13 billion a year, while opponents say they will undercut U.S. workers and undermine America’s ability to press for international human