World stock markets tumbled and oil plumbed new depths Thursday as investors feared for the global economy on signs of a dramatic slowdown in powerhouse China.

European stock markets plunged in morning deals following a heavy sell-off across Asia triggered by a suspension to trading in China, the world’s second biggest economy and key driver of commodities consumption.

Meanwhile officials and leading financiers warned of the dangers to the global economy and the threat of another dangerous market crash, with the World Bank cutting its global growth forecasts again.

At about 1445 GMT, London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index was down a hefty 2.0 percent compared with Wednesday’s close, while leading eurozone markets Frankfurt and Paris shed 2.4 and 1.9 percent respectively.

Meanwhile Wall Street opened down sharply, with the Dow down 1.3 percent in early trading.

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