Over the past few days the US/EU markets experienced a major correction, only held up by the Asian markets, which also experienced a correction but not nearly as drastic.
MtGox’s trade engine went into safety mode for a few hours, slowly cycling trades as to prevent large market sells from clearing the order books.
The markets have started to slowly recover, though still hovering around $700-$800 USD, with the Asian markets leading price wise.
LTC also crashed pretty hard, nearly 50% within a couple of days.
Many speculate that the correction was due to the news that china has barred financial institutions from interacting with bitcoins as they are to be treated as commodity rather than a currency. This shouldn’t have much effect upon the existing chinese markets as none of them are banks or licensed financial institutions, so the scare is largely misunderstood. This could even be a good thing for bitcoin in china as they aren’t considering it a currency, which would make it subject to China’s strict currency conversion regulations.