By Marcus Leach

Following Standard & Poor's (S&P) downgrading of France, as well as several other European nations, European stock markets have opened slightly higher following earlier falls in Asia.

The main French and German indexes were up about 0.3%, while the UK's FTSE 100 was flat.

However earlier on Monday morning Japan's Nikkei index fell 1.5%, South Korea's Kospi slipped 0.8%, while Australia's ASX lost 1.2%.

Analysts are warning that the markets will remain volatile until the current eurozone problems are resolved.

Following reports suggesting that two AAA rated countries were to be downgraded S&P, late on Friday, cut France's rating back to AA+.

S&P also cut its ratings for Italy, Spain, Cyprus, Portugal, Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia and Malta.

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