France's credit rating was downgraded one notch to AA from AA+ by Fitch Ratings, given the lack of material improvement in the outlook for the country's budget deficit. Fitch revised its rating outlook to stable from negative. The French government now projects the general government budget deficit as a percent of gross domestic product at 4.4% in 2014 and at 4.1% in 2015, which represents "no improvement" from 2013's 4.1%, the rating agency said. "[France] has postponed its commitment to meet the headline EU fiscal deficit trheshold of at most 3% of GDP from 2015 until 2017." France's benchmark CAC 40 index has lost 4.4% this year, compared with a 0.7% gain in the Stoxx Europe 600 index and an 8.3% rise in the S&P 500.
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