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

Just Posted

West Kootenay couple escapes Spain – safe, sound, and in self-isolation

BC couple Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

Hospital’s Chief of Staff asks residents for help containing COVID-19

Invermere & District Hospital Chief of Staff says COVID-19 cases here, caution and care needed

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

MP Morrison touts non-partisan effort to provide relief amid COVID-19 pandemic

The federal government has announced a slew of economic initiatives for those impacted by the pandemic

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, total cases top 1,000

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

Anti-tax group calls for MPs, senators to donate scheduled pay raises to charity

Bill C-30, adopted 15 years ago, mandates the salary and allowance increases each calendar year

Two arrested after man lies about COVID-19 illness to stay in Victoria Airbnb for free

Victoria Police found stolen goods inside the occupied unit

Liberals delay release of 75% wage subsidy details, costs: Morneau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

No laws in B.C. to force businesses to offer refunds, even during a pandemic

Black Press Media talks to Consumer Protection BC on how to navigate during COVID-19

COVID-19 essential workers can apply for B.C. pre-school child care

Parent referral opens, providers offered emergency funding

Most abiding by COVID-19 rules, back fines, arrests of those who aren’t: poll

But 64 per cent said they’ve personally witnessed people not respecting the measures

Walkers, grocery store customers courteous with physical distancing in B.C.

Some cyclists also acknowledge each other and walkers as well on a wide trail

Most Read