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

Surrey bus driver tests positive for COVID-19

Routes he drove have not been disclosed

Surrey mayor denies property tax deferral motion

Councillor’s notice of motion for Surrey property taxes to be deferred until Dec. 2 out of order

Team refunds OK’d for cancelled Surrey Mayor’s Cup soccer tournament

The decision follows the amalgamation of the Central City Breakers club with Surrey Football Club

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

B.C. wide burning restrictions come into effect April 16

‘Larger open burns pose an unnecessary risk and could detract from wildfire detection’

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Most Read