Here is what you need to know.
China’s stock market was open for about 15 minutes before trade was halted. The Shanghai Composite opened and was almost immediately halted as trade crashed to a loss of 5%. After a 15-minute closure, the market reopened and fell another 2%. Chinese markets were then shuttered for the remainder of the session, down 7%. The Shanghai Composite has lost 11.7% so far this year.
The Chinese yuan keeps getting weaker. The Chinese yuan fell 0.5% to 6.5646 per dollar, making for its biggest one-day drop since Beijing’s August devaluation. Thursday’s weakness has the yuan at its weakest level against the dollar since September 2010.
Markets everywhere are under severe pressure. The selling in China is taking its toll on markets around the world. S&P 500 futures are down 44.25 points at 1941.75. In Europe, Germany’s DAX (-3.6%) leads the decline. Aside from the weakness in China, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (-3.1%) was the worst performer in Asia.
Expectations of a Fed rate hike are being pushed back. 2015 ended with a 50.2% chance the Fed would announce its next rate hike at its March meeting. However, the turbulence in China has the market repricing those expectations. On Wednesday, the market saw a 52% probability of an April hike, but those odds are now down to 42.6%. June is the first month with a greater than 50% chance, with a 59.6% probability.
Oil hit a 14-year low. Both West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude oil sank to 14-year lows in early action. WTI hit a low of $32.10 per barrel and Brent touched $32.16 before buyers emerged. Currently the energy components are down 3.2%% and 2.5%, respectively, at $32.88 and $33.34 per barrel.
The British pound is at a multi-year low. Selling has pushed the British pound down 0.5% to 1.4555, its lowest since the second quarter of 2010. Thursday’s weakness comes as the odds for the Bank of England’s first rate hike have been pushed back to May 2017 and despite a better than expected Halifax Home Price Index reading. It has been a rough 7 months for the pound, as selling has been relentless since the June high of 1.5880.
The World Bank slashed its global growth forecast. Weakness in the developing world has caused the World Bank to slash its 2016 outlook for global growth. The aid agency now sees 2016 global growth of 2.9%, down from its previous forecast of 3.3%. As for China, the World Bank expects growth of 6.7%, the slowest since 1990. The outlook is a bit brighter for the US, as the projected 2.7% expansion would be the strongest since 2006.
There are going to be major layoffs at Yahoo. The search giant will layoff at least 10% of its workforce as part of its planned reorganization, a source told Business Insider. The layoffs, which will eliminate more than 1,000 jobs, will be firm-wide, but could hit Yahoo’s media business, European operations and the platforms-technology group especially hard.
Earnings reporting picks up. KB Home and Walgreens Boot Alliance are among the names reporting ahead of the opening bell. Bed Bath & Beyond, Container Store, PriceSmart and Synnex highlight the names releasing their quarterly results after markets close.
US economic data is light. Initial and continuing claims will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET and natural gas inventories will be announced at 10:30 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is lower by 3 basis points at 2.14%.