US stock markets dropped dramatically on Friday afternoon, dragging overall global markets to their worst week of the year as concerns about the health of the Chinese economy rattled investors across the world.
All of the main US indices closed down more than 3% on Friday, the fourth consecutive day of falls. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 531 points, or 3.1%, to 16,460 – the S&P 500 lost 3.2% to 1,971 and the Nasdaq closed down 3.5% to 4,706.
Most major markets around the world also suffered bruising losses as new data suggested Chinese factory activity had slowed to levels last seen in 2009 and added to investors’ fears about the country’s economy since Beijing devalued its currency last week.
Further reading: U.S. oil prices traded below $40 a barrel for the first time since the 2009 financial crisis, ending 2 percent lower on Friday on signs of U.S. oversupply and weak Chinese manufacturing and notching the longest weekly losing streak in almost three decades.