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US: Stocks fall on worries about China, oil weakness

US stocks opened sharply lower on Tuesday as poor factory data from China sparked another round of global selloffs.

[NEW YORK] US stocks opened lower Thursday as worries about slumping oil prices and weak growth in China weighed on investor sentiment.

Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 17,172.21, down 176.52 points (1.02 per cent).

The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 18.45 (0.89 per cent) to 2,061.16, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell 47.95 (0.96 per cent) to 4,971.11.

The losses in the US came on the heels of declines in leading European and Asian equity markets after the Shanghai equity index fell 3.42 per cent, underscoring worries about the world's second-largest economy.

Investors also eyed falling oil prices, with the US benchmark contract close to the psychologically important $40-per-barrel level.