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Embattled Australian carrier Qantas' credit rating was downgraded by Standard & Poor's to "junk" status Friday after the airline issued a shock profit warning and slashed jobs. Qantas on Thursday flagged a half-year loss of up to Aus$300 million (US$271 million) and said it would axe 1,000 jobs as it struggles under the weight of record fuel costs and fierce competition from subsidised rivals. Qantas shares closed 3.74 percent lower at Aus$1.03, having lost more than 10 percent on Thursday. The rating puts Qantas in what is known as "junk" status among professional investors, increasing the cost of financing for the carrier and restricting access for investors that do not put their money in lower rated companies.