Spain lost its triple-A credit rating from Standard & Poor’s yesterday when the ratings agency downgraded the country’s long-term sovereign debt because of its deteriorating public finances.

S&P lowered its rating by one notch to double-A-plus, arguing that the global economic crisis had highlighted “structural weaknesses” in the Spanish economy that were inconsistent with triple-A, the highest rating.

The decision underscored the strains within the eurozone between relatively robust northern economies and those in the south – Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece – that would benefit from a devaluation of the common currency.

Financial Times