Brent, the global oil benchmark, settled down $US1.33 ($1.82), or 3.5 per cent, at $US36.46 a barrel. US gasoline futures slid more than 2 percent as the selloff extended to refined oil products. The price of gas at the pump is expected to drop to $2.36 a gallon in 2016 from a high of $3.36 in 2014. "There is a long way to go before global supply and demand rebalancing occurs", Angus Nicholson, a market analyst at IG in Melbourne, said by phone.
United Kingdom shares suffered their biggest fall in the first week of a year since 2000 despite steadying on Friday, after Chinese stocks regained some poise following a plunge the previous day that rattled global markets. Investors were spooked Thursday when the government guided the tightly controlled currency sharply lower, in what was interpreted as a panicked effort to stimulate the economy by helping beleaguered exporters.
Eastern time. Facebook rose $2.08, or 2.1 percent, to $100 and Apple, which is trading at its lowest prices in more than a year, picked up $1.81, or 1.9 percent, to $98.26. economy is from global stresses. "It's getting into a stage where it is self-fulfilling - the weaker the yuan gets, the more selling there will be", said Hao Hong, the chief market strategist at Bank of Communications International.
Those halts, which were triggered twice this week, are increasingly seen as inadequate for preventing volatility. Alibaba (BABA.N), in which Yahoo has a stake, was down 6 percent at $72.72. The Chinese government, which closely controls the renminbi, has been allowing the value of the currency to decline steadily as a way to bolster the economy.
The Dow lost 392 points the day before. After starting the day with a 138-point bounce, the Dow is now down 66 points. In the USA, the Dow Jones industrial average sank 2.3% and the Standard & Poor's 500 lost 2.4% on Thursday. Citigroup gave up $2.56, or 5.1 percent, to $47.56. In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline declined 1.6 cents to $1.146 a gallon and heating oil lost 1.5 cents to $1.066 a gallon.
To appreciate just how focused investors are on Shanghai, look at Thursday's reaction to news that China would suspend the week-old circuit-breaker system that the night before halted trading after 29 minutes. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares declined 0.7 percent while Germany's DAX lost 1.3 percent. To exacerbate the problem, crude oil plummeted to the lowest level in more than 12 years.