Trading was suspended on the Chinese stock market on Thursday just half an hour after opening, as a shock devaluation of the yuan caused the market to tumble.

The People’s Bank of China moved the official midpoint on the yuan to its lowest since March 2011, at 6.5646 per dollar, causing panic in the markets and pushing down regional currencies.

Markets stopped trading 30 minutes after opening, as a new control designed to curb volatility was triggered for the second time this week. The mechanism comes into play when the market falls by 5 percent, which pauses trading for 15 minutes, or 7 percent, which ceases trading for the entire session. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell more than 7 percent to 3125.00.

In reaction to the Chinese markets, the FTSE fell nearly 3 percent at open, before steadying up to trade at 5918.23, down 2.59 percent (1005GMT). All European markets are currently down a similar level, with the DAX falling over 3 percent.

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