Chinese stocks plunged nearly 7 percent Monday, triggering an emergency trading suspension and giving global markets an unnerving start to 2016. Weak Chinese manufacturing and Middle East tensions were catalysts for the sell-off, dpa reported.
The Shanghai Composite Index dived 6.9 percent to 3,296.66 on the first trading day of the year. The index was at its lowest level in nearly three months.
The official Xinhua News Agency said the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock markets halted trading for the remainder of Monday to avert steeper falls. It was the first time China used the "circuit breaker" mechanism it announced late last year.
In early European trading, Britain's FTSE 100 slipped 1.9 percent to 6,123.91 and Germany's DAX tumbled 3.3 percent to 10,389.11. France's CAC 40 slumped 2.1 percent to 4,537.70. Futures augured losses on Wall Street. Dow futures fell 1.5 percent and S&P 500 futures dropped 1.3 percent.
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 tumbled 3.1 percent to close at 18,450.98 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng retreated 2.7 percent to 21,327.12. South Korea's Kospi closed 2.2 percent lower at 1,918.76. Stocks in Australia, and Southeast Asia were also lower.
Benchmark U.S. crude added 14 cents to $37.19 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 36 cents to close at $37.04 per barrel on the last trading day of 2015. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 20 cents to $37.48 a barrel in London.
In currencies, the dollar weakened to 118.98 yen from 120.26 yen. The euro rose to $1.0914 from $1.0861.