Belfast Telegraph

Markets in meltdown over China cash crisis

By Colm Kelpie

Shares took a battering yesterday and the price of oil slumped amid investor concern over a slowing Chinese economy.

Private pensions invested in the stock markets are likely to have taken a hit as markets from Shanghai to Paris and New York all slumped in 'Black Monday'.

The cause of the global market volatility centres on fears that the world's second biggest economy is slowing. Investors believe the slowdown may be worse than thought because Beijing unexpectedly devalued its currency earlier this month. Everything from shares to currencies and the price of oil has been affected.

Billions have been wiped from indices across the world amid market volatility that saw Japanese stocks post their worst day in two years yesterday, Chinese stocks sink the most in eight years, and European shares tumble across the board.

China's stocks plunged the most since 2007 yesterday as government support measures failed to allay investor concern that the slowdown is deepening. China's official news agency, Xinhua, dubbed the day Black Monday.

Market jitters swept across the globe, with the sell-off in Asian markets moving to Europe, pushing major markets such as Paris and Berlin 5.5% and 4.7% lower respectively.

The Irish Stock Exchange, the ISEQ, closed down 5.05%.

When US markets opened yesterday afternoon British time, the Dow Jones briefly plummeted around 1,000 points on opening before clawing back the losses.

But by 8pm last night, it was down 3.5%.

The dollar fell against the euro, while the price of oil slumped to a six-and-a-half year low.

It has been estimated that more than $5trillion has been wiped from the value of global equities since China initially devalued its currency, the yuan, on August 11.

Global leaders intervened yesterday. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said China would do everything in its power to stabilise the situation.

Belfast Telegraph