Moody's downgrades France 1 notch on weak growth

Associated Press Modified: November 19, 2012 at 6:30 pm •  Published: November 19, 2012

Pierre Moscovici, the French finance minister, blamed the downgrade on the policies of previous governments that had failed to restore the competitiveness of the nation's economy.

"French debt still remains among the most liquid and safest of the eurozone," said Moscovici, a member of the ruling Socialist government. "The French economy is large and diversified and the government has shown proof of its serious plan to implement structural reforms and restore public finances."

The yield on the French 10-year government bond fell 1 basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 1.96 percent on Monday. That's 60 basis points more than equivalent German government bonds, suggesting that investors see them as riskier.