China welcomed the New Year with a 7 percent stock market crash that was so intense that government authorities suspended trading across the nation. Markets around the world plunged, with Asia and Europe down -3 percent, U.S. markets down 1.7 percent, and gold up 1.1 percent. The new China crisis is expected to hammer demand for foreign luxury products. Tesla Motors shares plummeted 4 percent to $230 and Apple stock fell 2 percent to a new “bear-market” low of $103.
Chinese automatic “circuit breakers” were implemented by the China Securities Regulatory Commission to suspend trading automatically during a crash after the August 2015 wipe-out saw markets in the “Red Dragon” collapse by over a third. Trading was shuttered on January 3 nearly 90 minutes before the regular close, according to Stratfor Global Intelligence.
The plunge came after an official report from the China Iron and Steel Association that large and medium-sized Chinese steel mills reported losses of nearly $8.2 billion during the first 11 months of 2015. Bulk steel prices have fallen by 78 percent in the past two years. Despite massive government subsidies and purchases, China’s 101 largest steel mills’ total sales revenue fell by 19.3 percent in 2015 compared with the previous year. FULL REPORT