The Nasdaq Composite Index was leading major market indexes lower, falling 2.9% while the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 2.3% and 2.2% respectively.
China's currency slumped as President Donald Trump accused the government of manipulating the currency and allowing the yuan to tumble. The tumbling price of the yuan against other currencies makes Chinese exports cheaper and more attractive to overseas companies.
Companies run by the state in China have also stopped buying US agricultural products, Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the situation. Last week Trump accused China of reneging on an agreement to buy agricultural goods.
China denied it was letting the yuan tumble as part of a strategy to deal with the trade fight with the US, according to news reports. Last week Trump said the US plans to impose a 10% tariff on $300 billion of Chinese imports.
In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures fell 0.7% to $55.28 per barrel. Natural gas slumped 2.4% to $2.07 per 1 million BTU. Gold futures were up 1.3% to $1,476.50 an ounce, while silver gained 0.6% to $16.37 an ounce.
Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was little changed at $11.48 while the United States Natural Gas Fund was down 3.3% to $17.99. Among precious-metal funds, the Vectors Gold Miners ETF was up 3.9% to $28.85 while SPDR Gold Shares were up 1.6% to $138.05. The iShares Silver Trust gained 0.8% to $15.31.
Here's where the markets stand at mid-day:
NYSE Composite Index was down 271.07 points (-2%) to 12,568.43
Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 569.14 points (-2.15%) to 25,915.87
S&P 500 was down 65.88 points (-2.3%) to 2,866.17
Nasdaq Composite Index was down 229.94 points (-2.9%) to 7,774.13
FTSE 100 was down 183.21 points (-2.47%) to 7,223.85
DAX was down 213.93 points (-1.8%) to 11,658.51
CAC 40 was down 117.45 points (-2.19%) to 5,241.55
Nikkei 225 was down 366.87 points (-1.7%) to 20,720.29
Hang Seng Index was down 767.26 points (-2.85%) to 26,151.32
Shanghai China Composite Index was down 46.34 points (-1.62%) to 2,821.50
NYSE SECTOR INDICES
NYSE Energy Sector Index was down 231.75 (-2.42%) to 9,347.07
NYSE Financial Sector Index was down 199.02 points (-2.5%) to 7,774.61
NYSE Healthcare Sector Index was down 268.42 points (-1.65%) to 15,952.21
(+) TSN (+8.4%) Maintained earnings guidance for year
(+) JEC (+3.2%) Fiscal Q3 results top Street estimates
(+) WEC (+2%) Q2 EPS beat Wall Street consensus
(-) CARS (-34%) Receives "no actionable bids" for company
(-) ATRO (-19%) Q2 EPS misses Street view
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