Dow plummets on devaluation of China's currency

U.S. stock markets plummeted on Monday following China's move to devalue its currency, Beijing's latest step in a tense faceoff on trade with President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump watching 'very closely' as Portland braces for dueling protests WaPo calls Trump admin 'another threat' to endangered species Are Democrats turning Trump-like? MORE.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down more than 900 points, or 3.5 percent, in its worst one-day drop in 2019.  The S&P 500 had fallen 107 points late in the trading session, or 3.7 percent.

If the Dow closes at that level, it would rank as the third-largest, single-day point drop in its history. The current top four all took place in 2018. In percentage terms, however, the plunge would not break the top 20.

The Dow on Monday fell below 26,000 threshold, which it first broke in January of 2018.

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China earlier in the day devalued its currency, the yuan, to its cheapest level in more than a decade, allowing it to sell for more than seven per U.S. dollar.

The move follows President Trump's announcement last week that he would impose a 10 percent tariff on $300 billion of Chinese imports, adding to the 25 percent tariff in place on a separate $250 billion of China's goods. Together, the tariffs will cover nearly everything China sells to the United States.

With a devalued currency, China aims to lessen the effects of the tariffs by making its exports cheaper.

Trump in a tweet on Monday labeled China's move "currency manipulation" and called on the Federal Reserve to act, which is not the prime objective of the central bank.

"This is a major violation which will greatly weaken China over time!" he said.

Negotiations on renewing a trade deal last month produced few results, and the escalations are straining expectations for an upcoming high-level talks in September.

Trump accused China of reneging on an offer to buy up U.S. agriculture, which has suffered as a result of the trade war.

Updated at 3:08 p.m.