Trading on China's stock markets has been suspended for the second time this week, after China accelerated the depreciation of the renminbi, a move which rippled through regional currencies and domestic stock markets.
The so-called circuit-breaker was triggered less than half an hour after the open. It was first used on Monday, the first day of trading this year, to stem a sell-off sparked by mounting fears over the Chinese economy.
The mechanism, introduced in the wake of volatility this summer, kicks in when the market falls by five per cent.
Earlier today, the People's Bank of China shocked markets by setting the official midpoint rate of the renminbi at 6.5646 per dollar, its lowest level since March 2011.
That was 0.5 per cent weaker than the day before and the biggest daily drop since last August, when an abrupt near two per cent devaluation of the currency also roiled markets.
This sent China's blue-chip CSI 300 index down 7.21 per cent at 3,284.74 points. Meanwhile, the Shanghai Composite Index shed 7.32 per cent at 3,115.89 points, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was 2.75 per cent lower at 20,403.90 points.
ANZ bank said in a note: "The policy action will also create one-way expectation of RMB depreciation, propelling capital flight and leading to significant financial instability."