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China’s markets had a wild day before a 4-day break

Shanghai Stock ExchangeShanghai Stock Exchange
An investor covers his face in front of a sea of red stocks on July 8, 2015 in Shanghai, China. Photograph by On Man Kevin Lee — Getty Images

Tuesday was another day of dramatic ups and downs for stocks in China, hardly a comforting way to close the markets before a four-day break in trading.

The reason for the long break? China, the world’s second-largest economy, is observing a national holiday to commemorate World War II for the first time since the war ended seven decades ago. The celebration is being seen as an attempt to show confidence and strength even as the country’s markets have fluctuated drastically since August 24, which has been labeled by Chinese media outlets as “Black Monday.”

And fluctuate those markets did on Wednesday: the Shanghai Composite Index finished the day down 0.2% but along the way had two spikes that would have brought it into positive gain for the day, as well as a drastic low, down 4.7% in the morning. The Wall Street Journal called it a “tug-of-war” between anxious sellers and optimistic buyers.

China’s overall market is down nearly 40% since June, a period in which the Shanghai Composite, Hang Seng Index, and the Nikkei have all fallen.

For more on the market turmoil in China, see:

Will the crisis in China sink the U.S. economy?

What you may not know about the Chinese stock market