Photo: George Eastman via Flickr
UPDATE: The negative trend appears to have reversed since earlier this morning, after a successful Italian bond auction cooled fears about increasing euro tensions. Italy sold 4 billion euros ($5.3 billion) in three-year bonds at 3.41%. That’s down from yields of 4.38% at a mid-January auction. The DAX is up 0.59%, and U.S. futures are trading higher.ORIGINAL: European markets are down after Moody’s downgraded six European countries yesterday and lowered the ratings outlook on AAA-rated France, Austria, and the U.K.
Renewed fears about approval of the second Greek bailout aren’t helping either. Eurozone finance ministers are set to meet on Wednesday to discuss whether or not Greece has made sufficient commitments to the bailout effort.
That’s after it passed a slew of unpopular austerity measures that provoked rioting and angst in Athens over the weekend. While they are expected to approve at least parts of the bailout, FT reported yesterday (via Marketwatch) that certain leaders (hint: Germany) are not completely convinced of Greece’s commitment, and may only pass limited pieces of the bailout at this point.
Asian markets, however, closed positive, with the Nikkei up 0.59%. That could have been spurred on by the Bank of Japan’s decision to expand its asset purchase program by $835.83 billion.
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