Moody's Investors Service adjusted the sovereign debt ratings of nine European countries "in order to reflect their susceptibility to the growing financial and macroeconomic risks", the agency said late on Monday.
Moody's downgraded Spain's rating to A3 from A1, Portugal's rating to Ba3 from Ba2, Slovenia and Slovakia's ratings to A2 from A1. The ratings of Italy and Malta were downgraded to A3 from A2. The outlooks of all six states were changed to Negative.
The agency also changed the outlooks on Austria, France and the United Kingdom's ratings to negative but affirmed them at Aaa.
"The main drivers of today's actions are the uncertainty over the euro area's prospects for institutional reform of its fiscal and economic framework and the resources that will be made available to deal with the crisis; and Europe's increasingly weak macroeconomic prospects, which threaten the implementation of domestic austerity programs and the structural reforms that are needed to promote competitiveness," Moody's said in a statement.
International oil prices fell on Tuesday morning on news of the EU states' downgrade. March futures on WTI blend went down 0.33 percent to $100.58 per barrel, while futures on Brent blend edged down 0.62 percent to $117.20 per barrel as of 08:45 Moscow time (04:45 GMT).