Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s cut Brazil’s credit rating further below investment grade on Thursday as doubts grew about a presidential election in October and a push to trim its costly pension system, seen as vital to closing a huge fiscal deficit. S&P lowered its long-term rating for Brazil sovereign debt to BB- from BB previously, with a stable outlook, citing less timely and effective policymaking. S&P also cited a risk of greater policy uncertainty after this year’s elections.
Merval, the main index of the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange, rose 1.51% Thursday, closing at 28,494.01 points - close to exceeding the maximum of the year, by 28,500 points. The Argentine stocks were driven by the approval of the pension and tax reforms passed this week in the House of Representatives.
The International Monetary Fund has raised fresh concerns about Spain's economy, saying “far-reaching” reforms are needed to ensure its recovery. It said the country faced “severe” challenges, including the need to urgently reform a “dysfunctional” labour market, and its banking sector.
Cuban President Raúl Castro replaced two high-level government ministers citing errors and incompetence, in the latest round of replacements at top-level government posts. There are also signs that Cuba might turn the sugar industry to foreign investment.