By  on December 6, 2011

LONDON — Europe’s stock markets edged downward in mid-morning trading as the ratings agency Standard & Poor’s threatened to downgrade most euro zone countries due to the ongoing debt crisis.

The DAX in Frankfurt was down 1.1 percent to 6,041.46, while Milan’s FTSE MIB slid 0.6 percent to 15,830.98. The CAC 40 in Paris edged down 0.4 percent to 3,188.97, while the FTSE 100 in London fell 0.3 percent to 5,554.19.

The euro traded at $1.34 while the pound traded at $1.56 at 11:25 am CET.

Retail and luxury stocks put in a mixed showing, with the morning’s biggest gainers including Arcandor, which rose 9.3 percent to 0.06 euros; French Connection, which advanced 5.1 percent to 0.52 pounds; and Hermès International, which climbed 1.8 percent to 227 euros.

Among the stocks that lost the most in mid-morning were Yoox, which was down 1.4 percent to 9.99 euros; Mulberry Group, which sank 1.5 percent to 14.95 pounds; and Marcolin, which fell 1.6 percent to 3.67 euros.

This morning, S&P delivered more bad news the beleaguered euro zone, putting most countries – including France and Germany — on a credit watch.

Their decision means those countries with AAA ratings have a 50 percent chance of being downgraded, making it more expensive for them to borrow money.

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