TRADING floors began the new year in a state of chaos as weak economic data from China and heightened tension in the Middle East wreaked havoc on financial markets worldwide.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled toward its worst start to a year since 1932, sinking more than 375 points.
The slide came after investors sold off Chinese equities. Concerns around global growth - from Asia to North America - also fanned the selloff.
Britain's benchmark index suffered its worst new year start in 16 years. The last time the FTSE 100 made such a bad start to the year was on January 4, 2000, when it sank 3.81pc - its worst new year start in the FTSE 100's 31-year history.
After suffering its worst year since 2011, the FTSE 100 closed down 158.89 points, or 2.39pc, to 6,093.43.
More than £38 billion had been wiped off Britain's leading companies when markets closed on Monday - compared with a total of £80 billion in the last 12 months.
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