Global stock markets plunge on China fears

LONDON - Stock markets across the US and Europe have fallen sharply as fears of a Chinese economic slowdown continue to haunt investors.

Wall Street's Dow Jones was down more than 4% after the first half-hour of trading, having earlier fallen 6%.

London's FTSE 100 index was 4.8% lower in afternoon trade, with major markets in France and Germany down by 6.8% and 5.6% respectively.

The sell-off hit stocks across almost every sector in New York.

The Dow Jones at one point fell below 16,000 for the first time since February 2014, while the technology-heavy Nasdaq index was more than 4% lower in morning trade, recovering a bit after having plunged 8%.

Shares in Asia were hit overnight, with the Shanghai Composite in China closing down 8.5%, its worst close since 2007.

Global investors are worried about growth in the world's second largest economy.

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