Stock markets in China opened down more than 1 per cent on Monday after rating agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded the United States’ long-term debt last week.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index was down 1.03 per cent on opening at 2599.29. The Shenzhen Component Index fell 1.07 per cent to 11,576.57.

On Friday, Standard & Poor’s downgraded the credit-worthiness of U.S. long-term debt from the top level of AAA by one notch to AA+ for the first time.

State media Xinhua on Saturday said that China, as “the largest creditor of the world’s sole superpower,” should demand that Washington “address its structural debt problems and ensure the safety of China’s dollar assets.” Beijing holds an estimated 1.5 trillion dollars of U.S. bonds.

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