The European markets are continuing their downward spiral, led down by a combination of a crashing Chinese market and the continuing oil slump.
In Britain, the FTSE100 opened down 1.8%, and has fallen steadily.
As of 8:45 a.m. GMT (3:45am ET) the index is down 2.5%, more than 150 points. This morning’s fall has pushed the FTSE below 6000 points for the first time since early December.
All three of the biggest fallers on the index are major mining firms, with stricken Anglo American leading the losses. It’s down more than 8% so far.
This morning’s fall pushes the index past 5% losses in just four days of trading so far in 2016.
Here’s what the FTSE slump looks like right now:
Things in Europe are even worse, with indexes across the continent all substantially in the red. Here’s a snapshot of the European markets:
- German DAX 30 — down 3.37%
- French CAC 40 — down 2.94%
- Spanish IBEX 35 — down 2.84%
- Euro Stoxx 50 — down 3.03%
There seem to be two crucial drivers of the European crash on Thursday morning: China, and another day of slumping oil prices.
Overnight, China weakened the value of the yuan by 0.51% to 6.5646 against the US dollar, the biggest drop since August. This helped send markets in the country tumbling, and led to the triggering of the Chinese market’s “circuit breaker” for the second time in just four days of trading. Shares tanked as much as 7% in just 15 minutes from the opening. This then sparked a market rout across Asia, sending shares to three-month lows.
Oil is also getting punished once again, and earlier on Thursday morning both Brent and WTI oil dropped below $33, hitting lows not seen since the aftermath of 9/11. Both benchmarks have plunged by at least 4%.
Mix these two ingredients together, and it’s no wonder that European investors are running scared on Thursday morning.