Dow Jones Industrial Takes 2.5% Plunge after China, Middle East Tensions

Global stocks started 2016 with a sharp selloff as fresh signs of economic slowdown in China deepened fears about global growth and lowered hopes for a better year.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 445 points, or 2.6%, to 16980 in morning trading, on the heels of a rout in European and Asian markets.

Weaker-than-expected manufacturing data and a falling currency triggered a 7% fall in mainland Chinese stocks that led authorities to halt trading there for the rest of the day.

Meanwhile, rising tensions in the Middle East led to volatility in oil prices, offering a further glimpse of the themes investors say are likely to influence markets this year.

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