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

FortisBC offers 90-day bill deferrals to customers impacted by COVID-19

Customers can apply for the relief program through the utility’s website

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

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

North Okanagan bands together in support against COVID-19

New group launches website with tools to help endure crisis

VIDEO: KLO middle school teachers shoot video to show support for students at home

KLO teachers Kayla Rose and Tonia Macgregor were the minds behind the gesture

COVID-19: Kelowna MLA to host virtual town hall on physical, mental health

Norm Letnick will be hosting the town hall with doctors from the Canadian Mental Health Association

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

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

UPDATE: Coronavirus concerns prompt event cancellations across the Okanagan

This is a running list of events cancelled across the Okanagan

VIDEO: Shuswap family in isolation rises to musical challenge

The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine used to share efforts to avoid spread of COVID-19

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

RCMP pursuit in Okanagan Falls leads to arrest of Penticton man

Seamus Kirby of Penticton is facing numerous charges including flight from police

Shuswap residents, distiller respond to safety, sanitization needs at seniors care facilities

Sicamous’ After Dark Distillery shifts to making sanitizer to support community

Game over for North Okanagan youth soccer

Spring league refunds 1,500 registrations amid COVID-19

Easter bunny to send ambassador to Golden for weekend drive-by

The Easter bunny will be sending his emissary, Egglebert Bunny, to celebrate Easter with Golden

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

Most Read