Moody’s lowers France rating; Goldman sees 15 years of weak crude; Japan scripts major upset in rugby history

1 Moody’s lowers France rating (San Francisco Chronicle) Moody’s Investors Service is downgrading the credit rating of France, saying the French economy will grow slowly for the rest of this decade while the country’s debt remains high.

The firm lowered its rating to “Aa2” from “Aa1.” That means France has Moody’s third-highest possible rating. Moody’s said the outlook for economic growth in France is weak, and it does not expect that to change soon. It says the high national debt burden probably will not be reduced in the next few years because of low growth and institutional and political constraints.

Overall Moody’s says France’s creditworthiness is “extremely high” because of its large, wealthy, well-diversified economy, high per-capita income, good demographic trends, strong investor base and low financing costs. The outlook was raised to “stable” from “negative.”

http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Moody-s-downgrades-credit-rating-of-France-6514475.php

2 Goldman sees 15 years of weak crude (Gulf News) A glut of crude may keep oil prices low for the next 15 years, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. There’s less than a 50 per cent chance that prices will drop to $20 a barrel, most likely when refineries shut in October or March for maintenance, Jeffrey Currie, head of commodities research at the bank, said. Goldman’s long-term forecast for crude is at $50 a barrel, he said.

Goldman cut its crude forecasts earlier this month, saying the global surplus of oil is bigger than it previously thought and that failure to reduce production fast enough may require prices to fall near $20 a barrel to clear the glut. Prices may touch that level when stockpiles are filled to capacity, forcing producers in some areas to cut output, Currie said.

Lower iron ore, copper and steel prices as well as weaker currencies in commodity-producing countries have reduced costs for oil companies, according to Currie. The world is shifting from an “investment phase” of a 30-year commodity cycle to an “exploitation phase,” with shale fields as an important source of output, he said.

http://gulfnews.com/business/sectors/energy/goldman-sees-15-years-of-weak-crude-as-20-oil-looms-on-glut-1.1585830

3 Japan scripts major upset in rugby history (BBC) Japan stunned two-time champions South Africa to cause arguably the biggest upset in rugby union history. Karne Hesketh crossed in the final minute to win an incredible World Cup Pool B encounter in Brighton.

South Africa led 12-10 after Francois Louw and Bismark du Plessis tries. Lood de Jager and Adriaan Strauss also scored for the Springboks, but Ayumu Goromaru contributed 24 points, including a try, before Hesketh’s dramatic clincher. Japan had not won a World Cup game since 1991, while South Africa were world champions in both 1995 and 2007.

Japan started the game brightly, played with quick ball and took the game to South Africa, never looking overawed by their powerful opponents. Captain Michael Leitch went over for Japan’s first try as they went 10-7 up after 29 minutes and, although Du Plessis quickly responded, the Brave Blossoms stayed in touch throughout the second half.

Japan were always looking to attack, with scrum-half Fumiaki Tanaka dictating the tempo of their game and full-back Goromaru putting in a near-flawless kicking display. The 29-year-old added to his points tally when he finished off a well-worked move and, after he converted his own try, the score was 29-29 with just over 10 minutes remaining.

Replacement Handre Pollard kicked South Africa back in front eight minutes from the end after Japan strayed offside but the underdogs were not to be denied. They laid siege to the Springboks’ line as time ticked beyond 80 minutes, twice opting not to kick penalties that would have earned them a draw. Their adventure was rewarded as they span the ball across the field for Hesketh’s winning try on the left flank.

Several kickable penalties were given away after the break to allow Goromaru to keep Japan in touch, while Coenraad Oosthuizen’s late yellow card proved costly as Japan were able to stretch the play for Hesketh to touch down in the corner.

http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/rugby-union/34269878

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About joesnewspicks

This blog captures interesting news items from around the world for those strained by information overload and yet need to stay updated on global events of significance. The news items displayed are not in order of merit. (The blog takes a weekly off — normally on Sundays — and does not appear when I am on vacation or busy.) I am a journalist for nearly three decades.
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