China shut its stock exchanges for the second time this week, as the CSI 300 plunged more than 7 per cent. Circuit filters were reached at near 10.00 am local time.
If the CSI breaches 5 per cent, then trading is halted for 15 minutes and after a 7 per cent fall, trading is stopped for the day.
On Thursday, authorities lowered the central rate of China's yuan currency by 0.51 percent to 6.5646 against the US dollar, AFP reported
On Wednesday's Caixin non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), a measure of activity for the services sector, showed a slowdown in the pace of growth.
To compound worries crude oil slumped to a new 11 year low on inventories build-up. Analysts now fear that crude oil could hit $30 per barrel rather easily.
Asian markets retreated following the Shanghai news with the Hang Sang down 2.33 per cent and the Japanese Nikkei and the Singapore Strait Times were down 2 per cent each.