By Jonathan Davies
Tens of billions have been wiped off global stock markets over the past 24 hours as fears of a slowing growth in China continue to grow.
The FTSE 100 fell as much as 6% on Monday afternoon to less than 5,800 points. The US Dow Jones index was also down 6%, falling below 16,000 points for the first time since February 2014, and the Nasdaq opened 8% lower with major stock markets in France and Germany down 7% and 6%, respectively.
Shares on the FTSE 100 are down 15% since April, and €5 trillion has been wiped off the value of global stocks in the past two weeks.
It comes as global markets continue to be effected by big falls in China. Shares in France and Germany are also down 3%. The Shanghai Composite suffered its worst close since 2007 overnight - investors are becoming increasingly concerned over China's ability to maintain such high economic growth, and the impact it would have on business.
Chris Towner, director of foreign exchange advisory services at foreign currency specialists, HiFX, said: “Risk aversion is back in the financial markets. A combination of threats of tightening monetary policy in the US and UK with China slowing has created nervousness and this nervousness is now spreading to panic. The chances of a rate hike now in September in the US has reduced from a probability of over 50% to a possibility of less than 5%.
“The interesting dynamic here though is in previous forays of panic, the US dollar has strengthened; however as the US dollar is over-valued, it is the euro that is the currency in demand.
“This is feeding through to GBP/EUR and last week we were dealing up at 1.4200 and this week we are dealing at 1.3650. We can expect more of this to come as well, as the market re-adjusts to the risk event that we don’t see any rate hikes in the US this year, as warnings yet again prove to be powerful enough to turn the market.”
The Chinese government has implemented a number of stimulus measures in an attempt to allay those fears, but it appears they are not working.