The worst start to a year in global stocks since 2000 extended to a fourth day, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average losing more than 200 points, as turmoil emanating from China spread around the world and billionaire George Soros warned that a larger crisis may be brewing.
The Dow average headed for its third drop of more than 1 percent this week, and developing-nation markets tumbled 2.5 percent. Chinese shares fell 7 percent after the central bank weakened the yuan an eighth day. Crude sank toward $33 a barrel in New York and copper dipped below $2 for the first time since 2009. The yen reached a four-month high and gold surged on haven demand. Treasuries weakened on speculation China will sell U.S. debt to raise cash.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slid 1.5 percent at 12:39 p.m in New York. The index is down 4 percent this year. The MSCI All-Country World Index fell for a fourth day, bringing its slide this year to 4.8 percent.
China’s devaluation revived the angst that sent financial markets into turmoil last summer, driving U.S. stocks to three-month lows Wednesday in a selloff led by commodity producers. Comments by Soros exacerbated market jitters after he told an economic forum in Sri Lanka today that global markets are facing a crisis and investors need to be very cautious.