New York: The biggest rout in Chinese shares in eight years stoked concerns on Monday over slowing growth in the world`s No. 2 economy, knocking down global equities and the prices of key commodities.
The dollar eased on safety bidding for other major currencies. The euro topped USD 1.11 for the first time in two weeks, boosted further by strong German business sentiment data.
Wall Street was down on worries over China`s slowing growth, crystallized by a stunning 8.5 percent fall in shares in Shanghai that also rattled equity markets in Europe and Asia.
China`s top securities regulator quickly said the government would continue to buy shares to stabilize the stock market as an unprecedented rescue plan already in place appeared to be sputtering.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 123.2 points, or 0.7 percent, to 17,445.33, the S&P 500 fell 9.71 points, or 0.47 percent, to 2,069.94 and the Nasdaq Composite gave up 40.79 points, or 0.8 percent, to 5,047.84.
Eight of the 10 major S&P 500 sectors were lower.
Share indices in Frankfurt and Paris tumbled more than 2.5 percent, while London`s FTSE 100 ended down 1.13 percent. MSCI`s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.7 percent.
Traders and investors said the declines largely came on concerns over sluggish global economic growth triggered by the Chinese equity slump.
Both copper, for which Chinese demand is an important driver, and the broader Thomson Reuters CRB commodities index hit their lowest levels in six years. Copper futures fell another 1 percent on Monday.
Oil was near four-month lows after the Chinese stock crash fueled worries the world`s biggest energy consumer may cut back and as more evidence emerged of a global crude supply glut.
Brent crude fell 91 cents to USD 53.69 a barrel, after touching its lowest in almost four months, adding to falls which are expected to put more downward pressure on global inflation.
Despite the still-patchy economic news, many analysts still expect U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers meeting this week to raise interest rates in September.
Expectations of a rate hike have slowly pushed up U.S. Treasury yields and widened the dollar`s premium over the euro. But the euro has also tended to rise when investors get more concerned about global growth and rein in riskier bets, as they were doing on Monday.
The common currency pared some of its early gains from a bullish Ifo survey of German business sentiment to stand up 1.2 percent on the day at USD 1.1112. A dollar index was down 0.80 percent, while the greenback was down 0.5 percent versus the yen.
"Dollar weakness against the euro and the yen is a risk-aversion story reflecting China stocks," said currency strategist Richard Franulovich at Westpac in New York.
U.S. Treasury prices got a lift from international investors seeking shelter from tumbling stocks. The 10-year note was last up 11/32 and yielding 2.2337 percent.