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

Handgun pointing complaint draws strong RCMP presence at Chilliwack residence Wednesday night

One in custody after brief standoff involving Emergency Response Team and canine unit

Iconic Chilliwack store passes clothing racks on to downtown neighbours

Chilliwack Mission Thriftstore given racks and fixtures as downtown store closes for good

Exercise and cancer to be explored via webinar

UFV’s Dr. Iris Lesser to lead Zoom event for cancer patients and supporters

Overnight closures for Vedder dike gates this summer rather than full closure

Working with anti-dumping and angling advocates, City of Chilliwack came up with compromise

Fiscal statement from the feds lacked clear plan for economic recovery: MP Strahl

While Conservatives backed emergency supports, it’s now time for ‘transparent plan to guide recovery’

Horgan says B.C. restart making gains as more people come out of their homes

B.C. announced the easing of more restrictions on businesses, recreation and travel last month

Amber Alert continues for missing Quebec girls, 6 and 11, and their father

Police issued the alert for Norah Carpentier, 11, and Romy Carpentier, 6, from Levis, Que.

Limit police access to lethal weapons in Indigenous communities: Justice Summit

Grassroots-organized National Indigenous Justice Summit was a free-to-attend two-day videoconference

Wanted Burnaby man arrested in White Rock

34-year-old facing 15 charges, including sexual assault

Mayors welcome rideshare expansion to eastern Lower Mainland

As of Thursday, Lyft is now offering service throughout Metro Vancouver

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

Most Read