Italy probing rating agencies

By the Associated Press | August 4, 2011 | 12:30 PM EDT

ROME (AP) — Italian prosecutors are investigating two rating agencies after consumer groups complained about them causing turbulence on financial markets.

Italian news agency ANSA and broadcaster Sky TG24 on Thursday quoted officials as saying that documents were seized in the probe of Moody's and Standard & Poors.

They reported the officials said at a news conference in the southern city of Trani that the probe was launched several months ago.

Moody's says it is cooperating with authorities.

S&P says it views the allegations as unfounded.

Prosecutors could not immediately be reached for comment.

Milan's stock market on Thursday saw trading suspended in several companies' shares because of excessive lows as the eurozone's looming debt crisis spooked investors.