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An investor in Shanghai watches the market after China's "circuit breaker" mechanism is activated
The Paris bourse opened 2.48 per cent down on Thursday after China closed its stock market and accelerated the devaluation of the yuan because of fallling share prices. Other European and Asian markets were jittery, because of fears for the Chinese economy and the falling price of oil.
The Cac40 had lost 111.8 points to 4,369.39 by 9.20 am Thursday, having already fallen 1.29 per cent on Tuesday.
It has lost six per cent since the beginning of the year, wiping out nearly all the gains made in 2015.
Shares linked to oil and commodities suffered most.
China halted trading on the Shanghai shares market for the second time this week after the CSI300 index fell 7.2 per cent, the SSE 7.3 per cent and Shenzhen 8.3 per cent.
Analysts cited the Chinese turbulence for the main reason for falls in Europe but also pointed to the continuing fall in the price of oil and political instability, notably tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia and North Korea's announcement that it had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb.