Financial numbers are shown on a television screen in Toronto as markets open for trading on Monday, March 16, 2020. The Toronto S&P/TSX composite index plunges more than 1,500 points at the start of trading. THE CANADIAN PRESS/CP

North American stock markets plunge again, loonie down, commodities fall

The drop in North American stock markets came after markets in Asia and Europe also fell

North American stock markets plunged at the start of trading today as COVID-19 fears tightened their grip on investors.

The crash came despite the U.S. Federal Reserve’s weekend to cut its key interest rate in a bid to limit the economic damage as businesses closed their doors and people stopped travelling in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.

The initial decline on North American stock markets triggered circuit breakers in Canada and U.S. that forced a brief pause trading.

READ MORE: Think before you buy or sell stocks amid COVID-19 market turmoil, B.C. professor urges

In later morning trading, the Toronto S&P/TSX composite index was down 1,404.58 points at 12,311.75 — up from the day’s low.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 2,298.31 points at 20,887.31. The S&P 500 index was down 261.73 points at 2,449.29, while the Nasdaq composite was down 737.96 points at 7,136.92.

The Canadian dollar traded for 71.62 cents US compared with an average of 71.94 cents US on Friday.

The drop in North American stock markets came after markets in Asia and Europe also fell.

The U.S. Federal Reserve cut its short-term interest rates back to their record low of nearly zero on the weekend and also said it will buy at least $500 billion of Treasury securities and $200 billion of mortgage-backed securities to help calm the Treasury market.

The Bank of Canada, which also moved on the weekend to help ensure global U.S. dollar liquidity, cut its key interest rate by half a percentage point on Friday to 0.75 per cent and said it was ready to make further changes if required to support economic growth and keep inflation on target.

The April crude contract was down US$2.47 at US$ 29.26 per barrel and the April natural gas contract was down 6.2 cents at US$1.807 per mmBTU.

The April gold contract was down US$45.3 at US$1,471.40 an ounce and the May copper contract was down 10.45 cents at US$ 2.3595 a pound.

READ MORE: COVID-19: What’s open and closed in B.C. as a result of the novel coronavirus

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronaviruseconomy

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Non-profits that are helping people impacted by COVID-19 can apply for relief funding

Red Deer and District FCSS can draw from a provincial pot of $30 million

No Alberta renter will be evicted for non-payment on April 1, promises the premier

No evictions during the entire Alberta public health emergency

Opening Red Deer’s safe consumption site would reduce strain on system during COVID-19, says advocate

Alberta should give also give addicts clean drugs, added Deborah Watson

Sylvan Lake product named SCAHL’s Best Goaltender

West Central Bantam AA Tigers’ Spencer Michnik received the coach-voted award for the 2019-20 season

A message from the publisher

Consider a voluntary subscription to Sylvan Lake News

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

Families urge action to get Canadians home from cruise ship stuck off Panama

1,243 passengers and 586 crew on board and more tests are being done every day

Canada could face legal trouble over refugee deportations: advocates

Deputy Prime Minister Freeland holding ‘urgent’ discussions with U.S. officials

Regions brace to fight rising flood waters and cases of COVID-19

Pontiac is one of dozens of flood-prone regions bracing for the possibility of rising waters

Feds working to get 248 Canadians stranded on COVID-19-infected cruise ship home

The federal government is working with the Panamanian government and Holland America

Most Read