US STOCKS-Wall St sinks as China fears grow, oil slides further

jueves 7 de enero de 2016 16:15 GYT

* Oil prices near 12-year lows

* China circuit breaker suspended as of Friday

* Indexes down: Dow 1.9 pct, S&P 1.9 pct, Nasdaq 2.4 pct (Updates to late afternoon)

By Caroline Valetkevitch

Jan 7 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks extended recent sharp losses on Thursday, putting the Dow on track for its worst start to a year in more than a century, as market volatility in China and a relentless slide in oil prices rattled investors.

China allowed the biggest fall in the yuan in five months, and Shanghai stocks were halted for the second time this week after another brutal selloff tripped a newly-imposed circuit breaker. The Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges, however, said China would suspend the circuit breaker as of Friday.

With Beijing accelerating the yuan's depreciation to make its exports more competitive, investors fear the world's second-largest economy is even weaker than had been imagined.

Adding to the gloom, oil prices fell to near 12-year lows and copper prices touched their lowest since 2009, weighing on energy and material shares. All 10 S&P 500 sectors were lower, though.

"People see the weakness in China and in the overall equity market and think there's going to be an impact on corporations here in the United States," said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Boston Private Wealth in New York.   Continuación...