NEW YORK (AP) ¿ Shares of packaging makers fell Friday along with the broader market, as a ratings agency put a noninvestment-grade rating on the debt of Graphic Packaging Holding Co. and forecast weak demand for the sector. Moody's Investors Service assigned a "B3" rating to $180 million in senior notes of Graphic Packaging, which makes paperboard containers for bottles and cans. The notes are due 2017. The rating and "Negative" outlook take into account Graphic Packaging's high leverage, weak demand trends in the paperboard sector, weak debt protection metrics and exposure to potentially high input costs, Moody's said. "Moody's anticipates continued weak demand trends within the folding carton packaging sector and a slow recovery of overall market conditions in 2009," the agency wrote in a statement. In afternoon trading, Graphic Packaging fell 7 cents, or 3 percent, to $2.23, Temple-Inland Inc. declined $1.24, or 7.3 percent, to $15.65 and International Paper Co. retreated 79 cents, or 3.8 percent, to $20.03.
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