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The Daily

Chinese Markets Plummet, Collateral Damage Spreads Around World

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Aug 24, 2015
ChinaThe Chinese Shanghai Composite Index (SCI) fell 8.49 percent today, its worst showing since the start of the 2007 financial crisis, and it probably would have been even worse if trading on literally hundreds of shares were suspended after losing 10 percent, according to the Washington Post. While the market hasn't been particularly kind to China as of late, with SCI having lost 40 percent of its value since June, the most recent panic seemed a different beast altogether: massive sell-offs paired with a sharp slowdown in investment demonstrates that investors have lost faith in the market in its current state, said the Post. 

A major issue, according to the Wall Street Journal, is connected to the Chinese central bank's decision to devalue its currency, which had wide-ranging impacts for borrowers, particularly in the real estate market. The Journal said that real estate companies borrowed money in dollars, but their revenues were in yuan. Devaluing the currency meant that it suddenly became much more difficult to pay off their debts, which sent bond rates tumbling. Not helping matters has been the ongoing oil price slump, which has been good for consumers but bad for energy companies, who now, because of the currency devaluation, are also facing higher debt expenses.  

The damage very quickly escaped China and began to spread to markets all over the world, according to USA Today. Japan, Korea, Australia, France, the U.K., Germany Hong Kong and, of course, the U.S. have all faced tumbling market values as a result of this turbulence. Bloomberg said that the S&P 500 has already lost 3.4 percent and the 10-year U.S. Treasury rate has fallen from 2.04 percent to 1.93 percent. Bracing for further damage, the New York Stock Exchange said, according to another Bloomberg piece, that if the S&P 500 drops 7 percent that it will halt trading for 15 minutes. It will stop trading again if, after the break, it drops 13 percent before 3:25 p.m., and if it drops 20 percent at any point in the day, said Bloomberg, trading will stop for the remainder of the day.