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S&P cuts China credit rating

The Standard & Poor's rating agency cut China's credit rating Thursday due to its rising debts, highlighting challenges faced by Communist leaders as they cope with slowing economic growth.

The downgrade added to mounting warnings about the dangers of increasing Chinese debt, which has fueled fears of a banking crisis or a drag on economic growth. Moody's Investors Service cut its own rating for China in May.

S&P lowered its rating on China's sovereign debt by one notch from AA- to A+, still among its highest ratings. The agency had given a warning sign of a possible downgrade in March 2016 when it changed China's outlook to negative.

"A prolonged period of strong credit growth has increased China's economic and financial risks," S&P said in a statement. "Although this credit growth had contributed to strong real GDP growth and higher asset prices, we believe it has also diminished financial stability to some extent."

The ratings cut, announced after Chinese financial markets closed for the day, could raise Beijing's borrowing costs slightly, but the more significant impact is on investor sentiment.



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