The start of this year has been the worst for financial markets since the onset of the Great Depression, with stock prices slumping around the world amid mounting concern over the situation in China. A wave of selling has swept the world’s leading financial centres over the past two weeks, with the value of Britain’s leading companies falling by more than £110 billion since the start of the year.he year. The FTSE 100 index of Britain’s biggest quoted companies fell 114 points, or 2 per cent, to 5,804 yesterday — the lowest close since November 2012.

Indices in Europe and America have fared even worse: the Shanghai market was the worst performer, closing down 3.6 per cent, taking its total losses to 18 per cent for 2016. This was prompted by the price of a barrel of Brent crude dipping below the $30 mark, for the third time this week. In America the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 391 points, or 2.4 per cent, at 15,988. The FTSE 100 index of Britain’s biggest quoted companies fell 114 points, or 2 per cent, to 5,804 yesterday — the lowest close since November 2012. In America the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 391 points, or 2.4 per cent, at 15,988. FULL REPORT