Chinese stock markets tumbled 7 percent in their opening session of 2016 on Monday as weak factory activity surveys and falls in the yuan added to concerns about the struggling economy, forcing exchanges to suspend trade for the first time.
Early losses quickly snowballed in the afternoon, with trading suspended around 0530 GMT (12.30 a.m. ET), about 90 minutes before the regular close.
Selling intensified after a brief 15-minute trading halt early in the afternoon when main indexes had shed 5 percent, and activity in Shanghai and Shenzhen was halted for the day soon after.
It was the first day that the China markets so-called "circuit breakers", intended to curb volatility, had been in effect.