Trading in China was automatically suspended as a result. That set off a slump in Asian and European stocks. The Dow Jones industrial average sank 392.41 points, or 2.3 percent. Worries about China were fueled by weaker-than-expected December manufacturing activity. Most of the blame goes to China, which is believed to be the biggest threat to USA stocks this year.
China's stock markets have little connection to the rest of its economy but two sharp price declines this week have focused attention on the slowdown in the nation's growth. Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 1.1% to 20,559.34 and Seoul's Kospi was little changed at 1,903.14. The 19-nation currency jumped 1.4% to $1.0928 (nearly Rs 72.81) and rose 0.6% to 128.58 yen (nearly Rs 71.96).
Ongoing concerns over China's slowing economy and falling currency prompted the sell-off. Already this week, China's Shanghai composite plunged 10 percent while other major indexes like Germany's DAX and Japan's Nikkei 225 are down 8 percent and 7 percent, respectively.
The White House is expected to make gun reform a key point of President Obama's final State of the Union address on January 12. Obama defended his support for the constitutional right to gun ownership while arguing that it is consistent with his efforts to curb mass shootings .
Both were boosted in early trading on Friday by news of China's markets intervention and the release of better-than-expected U.S. job numbers. The Shanghai Composite Index was 2% higher at 3,186.41 at 2 a.m. The US dollar trimmed losses against a basket of currencies after the Chinese stock exchanges announced the removal of the circuit breaker. The value of country's currency , the yuan, fell after the People's Bank of China pushed down its guidance rate one half of one percent.
It is quite possible that the yuan heads lower in the days to come and this has implications for the rest of the world. Shanghai shares were last up 1.1 percent after a report that China will keep in effect a ban on share sales by listed companies' major shareholders until new rules are promulgated.