1. THAT STINGS

    S&P Cuts Russian Credit Outlook

    Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting of the Security Council in Moscow's Kremlin March 21, 2014. Putin said on Friday Russia should for the time being refrain from imposing sanctions on Americans in retaliation for punitive measures announced by the United States, Russian news agencies reported. REUTERS/Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti/Kremlin (RUSSIA - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS - RTR3I0FD

    Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti/Reuters

    Russia's economy took another hit Thursday, as Standard & Poor's announced it was cutting Russia's credit-rating outlook to negative from stable, thanks to Western sanctions. Russia's credit rating is BBB, the second-lowest investment grade. The ratings agency also lowered its growth forecast for Russia for the year to 1.2 percent from an earlier estimate of 2.2 percent. In the first three months of 2014 alone, $60 billion has fled the country. “Heightened geopolitical risk and the prospect of U.S. and European Union economic sanctions following Russia’s incorporation of Crimea could reduce the flow of potential investment, trigger rising capital outflows, and further weaken Russia’s already deteriorating economic performance,” S&P analysts wrote.

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