MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 2.09%, on pace for its biggest one-day fall since October 2020, as Wall Street’s major indexes sagged more than 2%.
Investors moved into safe havens, with U.S. Treasuries gaining in price, pulling down yields, and gold rising.
Shares in Evergrande, which has been scrambling to raise funds to pay its many lenders, suppliers and investors, closed down 10.2% at HK$2.28.
Regulators have warned that its $305 billion of liabilities could spark broader risks to China’s financial system if its debts are not stabilized.
“Investors are concerned that the Evergrande issue is going represent a domino,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Cresset Capital Management. “Investors are tending to sell first and look into it to later.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 787.6 points, or 2.28%, to 33,797.28, the S&P 500 lost 101.41 points, or 2.29%, to 4,331.58 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 408.25 points, or 2.71%, to 14,635.71.
Economically sensitive sectors, including financials and energy, were hit particularly hard.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 1.67%, with mining stocks sliding.
The selloff on Monday has seen a cumulative $2.2 trillion of value wiped off the market capitalization of world equities from a record high of $97 trillion hit on Sept. 6, according to Refinitiv data.
Worries over Evergrande follow a pullback in equities recently as investors worry over the impact of coronavirus cases on the economy, and when central banks will ease back on monetary stimulus.
The U.S. Federal Reserve is due to meet on Tuesday and Wednesday as investors look for when it will begin pulling back on its bond purchases.
Investors were also keeping an eye on other central bank meetings spanning Brazil, Britain, Hungary, Indonesia, Japan, Norway, the Philippines, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan and Turkey.
The dollar index rose 0.061%, with the euro unchanged at $1.1725.
The offshore Chinese yuan weakened versus the U.S. currency to its lowest level in nearly a month.
“We are seeing a classic flight to safety in the dollar until we get some sense of clarity on whether or not it is going to be an orderly or disorderly resolution to Evergrande,” said Joe Manimbo, senior market analyst at Western Union Business Solutions in Washington, DC.
Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 22/32 in price to yield 1.2972%, from 1.37% late on Friday.
The iShares exchange-traded fund tracking high-yield corporate bonds edged down 0.5%.
Oil prices fell but drew support from signs that some U.S. Gulf output will stay offline for months due to storm damage.
U.S. crude fell 2.18% to $70.40 per barrel and Brent was at $73.99, down 1.79% on the day.
Spot gold added 0.4% to $1,761.29 an ounce, rising off of a one-month low.
For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.
(Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf in New York and Tom Arnold in London; Additional reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru, Saikat Chatterjee in London, Karen Pierog and Chuck Mikolajczak in New York and Wayne Cole in Sydney; Graphic by Sujata Rao; Editing by Jane Merriman, Mark Potter and Jan Harvey)