Australian PM Turnbull scrambles for independent votes as race tightens

By REUTERS
July 7, 2016 06:05

 
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Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull scrambled on Thursday to gain support from a small handful of independent lawmakers whose backing he will likely need to form a workable government and end a political vacuum after an unexpectedly close election.

There were signs that the instability was beginning to take its toll on the Australian economy, with Standard and Poor's cutting Australia's credit rating outlook to negative from stable, threatening a downgrade of its coveted triple A status.

The Australia dollar fell half a US cent after S&P's announcement, which cited concerns the coalition government would be hampered in its plans to return to budget surplus as it struggles to form a majority government.

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