U.S. stocks were lower on Thursday, but off their session lows, as market volatility in China and a relentless slide in oil prices unnerved investors, already jittery after a shaky start to the year.

China allowed the biggest fall in the yuan in five months, and Shanghai stocks were halted for the second time this week after another brutal selloff tripped a new circuit breaker.

Global stocks, however, trimmed losses after the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges said China would suspend the circuit breaker as of Friday. The mechanism has been in place the start of this year.

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