The selling that began this morning has gathered pace across the globe this afternoon, as the US joins in the one-way move.
Chinese investors will feel relieved that their market has taken the week off, but the absence of the volatility provided by Shanghai sends a worrying message – investors in the US and Europe are worried by many things, not least the current interest rate outlook in the US.
Recent surveys of fund managers may indicate rising cash balances but so far these appear to be remaining on the sidelines, pulling the rug from under what remains of this bull market. In a week when economic data is relatively light, it is becoming increasingly apparent investors are struggling to find any positive news on which to create a rally.
Oil prices have been relatively quiet today, at least compared to the vicious moves of the past six weeks. OPEC jawboning affords only the briefest of respites, with supply fundamentals overriding all other considerations. The only real hope of salvation for bulls would likely be a sudden OPEC meeting, coupled with some suitably warm words from Janet Yellen on Wednesday and Thursday, which would lead to yet another oil rally that could drag equity markets with it.
So far, that appears to be a distant prospect.