A surprise slump in US pre-Christmas retail sales renews fears the world's biggest economy is joining a worsening global economic slowdown and sinks Wall Street.
Wall Street rises again on renewed hopes the US and China can resolve their trade war, with reports China's President will himself meet an American delegation tomorrow.
New hopes of a breakthrough in the trade impasse between the US and China see global markets surge, while Wall Street also gets a boost from a potential deal to avoid another US Government shutdown.
Wall Street again has a lacklustre session, but Australian shares are poised for moderate gains on surging iron ore prices as Chinese traders return from Lunar New Year holidays.
Apple and Amazon stocks drop after Bloomberg reports that both tech giants have had their systems infiltrated by Chinese spies.
Will history look back on 2017 as the year the world finally overcame the great recession of 2008 thanks to an unlikely saviour, US President Donald Trump?
The sudden sell-off on Chinese equity and debt markets shows investors are starting to fret about debt as authorities move to tighten credit growth.
The bad news for commodity exporters has been compounded with another credit downgrade for China over fears of its debt levels.
For the previous three decades, the year ending in "seven" has been a disaster for share investors. Will 2017 make it four decades of the "seven-year" curse? asks fund manager Erik Knutzen.
The Australian share market loses around 1 per cent over the first half of the trading day, with most sectors sitting in the red.