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S&P 500 Caps Worst-Ever Start to Year on China Woes, Oil Slump

  • Global equities in worst start in records going back to 1988
  • Yen, gold rally with Treasuries as haven assets in demand
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Deep Dive: Worst Start to a Year for S&P 500 Ever

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The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index capped its worst-ever four-day start to a year, while gold rallied with the yen as turmoil in China spread around the world and billionaire George Soros warned that a larger crisis may be brewing.

The U.S. equities benchmark ended the first four days of 2016 lower by 4.9 percent, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has erased more than 900 points so far this year. A measure of global shares wrapped up a four-day slide of 5.2 percent, its worst start in records back to 1998. Selling in global equities began in China after the central bank weakened the yuan an eighth day. Crude settled at a 12-year low, and copper dipped below $2 for the first time since 2009. The yen reached a four-month high.