Moody’s: junk default rates to peak in Q4

Defaults of speculative-grade entities will peak in the fourth quarter in Europe and the US, says Moody's Investors Service.

The New York-based credit rating agency predicts the default rate for European speculative-grade (Ba1– C) debt will rise from 9.3% in the third quarter to a peak of 10.9% in the fourth quarter, before dropping to 6% by the third quarter of 2010.

In the US, default rates for speculative-grade issuers will hit a peak of 13.5% in the fourth quarter, up from 12.9% in the third