China rout sparks global stocks selloff

China rout sparks global stocks selloff
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 25: Chief Executive Officer David Lissy, joined by members of Bright Horizons’ leadership team celebrate their IPO at the New York Stock Exchange on January 25, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Hider/NYSE Euronext)

Global stock markets tumbled Monday as worries over China’s economy and instability in the Middle East combined to spook investors.

The pain was most acute in China, where trading was halted prematurely after weak manufacturing data sent shares plummeting. The benchmark Shanghai Composite shed 6.9%, while the Shenzhen Composite lost more than 8%.

The trading halt was China’s first-ever use of circuit breakers — a kind of emergency brake — on main exchanges.

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 closed down 3.1% while the Hang Seng shed 2.7%.

Crude prices, meanwhile, were volatile on Monday after Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic ties with Iran. Both Iran and Saudi Arabia are major oil-producing countries, and founding members of OPEC.

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