If the world economy could think, it would probably be wishing it had stayed in bed today. In what even Beijing's government mouthpiece is calling "Black Monday," China's stock market plunged almost 9% today in its biggest one-day drop since early 2007, wiping out all this year's gains and the savings of many small investors who had been encouraged by state media to buy stocks, the AP reports. Next, in what the Telegraph describes as a "bloodbath," worries about China's economy caused markets to plunge across Asia and in Europe, where more than $250 billion was wiped off the value of major companies in early trading. Oil prices also plunged, along with currencies such as Russia's ruble, which is now at an all-time low against the dollar, according to the Telegraph.
A market analyst at IG tells the BBC that "more uncertainty" is all he can predict. "It does appear that we're moving very quickly to the downside," he says. Other analysts warn that panic may deepen as worries about the health of the Chinese economy—and Beijing's ability to turn it around—continue to grow. "Things are starting [to] look like the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s. Speculators are selling assets that seem the most vulnerable," the head of research at Shinsei Bank in Tokyo tells Reuters, which calls today's events the "Great Fall of China." (Earlier this month, Beijing's surprise devaluation of the yuan led to warnings of a possible "global currency war.")