ATHENS, Greece – Moody’s Investors Service slashed Greece’s credit rating to junk status on Monday in a new blow to the debt-ridden country that is under intense international scrutiny after narrowly avoiding default last month.

A Moody’s statement said it was cutting Greece’s government bond ratings by four notches to Ba1 from A3, with a stable outlook for the next 12-18 months. It was the second of the three major agencies to accord Greek bonds junk status. Standard & Poor’s did the same in late April.

The downgrades reflect concern that Greece could fail to meet its obligations to cut its deficit and pay down its debt.

In New York, traders seemed unfazed by the news, which only weeks ago would have sent stocks tumbling on fears that problems in Europe were worsening. But traders don’t have any illusions about the financial problems Greece is facing.

A Greek Finance Ministry statement insisted that the recovery effort was on track. It said the new cut “does in no way reflect the progress made in recent months, nor the prospects emerging from fiscal improvement and better competitiveness.”

The downgrade came as a delegation from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund started an interim review of the country’s efforts to pull itself out of its major debt crisis.

After amassing a vast public debt and overspending that sent its budget deficit spiraling to 13.6 percent of gross domestic product in 2009, Greece was saved from defaulting on its loans in May by the first installment of a joint EU and IMF 110 billion bailout. It is to receive the second in September, pending implementation of a major austerity program that has sparked strong union reaction and a series of damaging strikes.

“The Ba1 rating reflects our analysis of the balance of the strengths and risks associated with the Eurozone/IMF support package,” said Moody’s lead analyst for Greece Sarah Carlson.