Almost US$3.2 trillion (S$4.6 trillion) has been wiped off the value of stocks around the world since the start of 2016, according to calculations by a top market analyst.
It has also been the worst-ever start to a year for US equities, said Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices, as both the S&P 500 and the blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average have posted their steepest losses for the first eight days trading of a year.
The sell-off this year, driven by renewed jitters over China's economy and a slump in energy prices, has pushed the S&P 500 index in correction territory, with the benchmark now down 11.29 per cent from its May 21 closing high.
According to the veteran market commentator, US stocks are now off US$1.77 trillion, while overseas stocks are down US$1.4 trillion.
Other analysts warned that the sogginess in stock markets may persist. In a research note on Wednesday, Albert Edwards, global macro strategist at Societe Generale, said the S&P 500 index was susceptible to a 75 per cent plunge from current levels.