TSX plummets 9.9%, Dow almost 13% as U.S. Fed fails to calm markets (Reuters/Globe and Mail – March 16, 2020)


Canada’s main stock market index tumbled to a four-year low and the Canadian dollar weakened more than 1 per cent on Monday as measures taken by global central banks to cushion the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak failed to calm investors.

The Toronto Stock Exchange Composite Index, closed unofficially down 1,355.93 points, or 9.9 per cent, to 12,360.40, having hit its weakest since January 2016 at 11,883.66.

Nine of the TSX’s 10 main groups were lower, including a 10.6-per-cent decline for the heavily-weighted financial services sector, while energy was down 18.2 per cent. The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners, gained 2.7 per cent.

U.S. stocks suffered their biggest one-day drop since 1987 on Monday as the Federal Reserve’s surprise move to cut interest rates to near zero fueled anxiety over a potential deep recession because of the coronavirus pandemic.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average unofficially fell 2,997.10 points, or 12.9 per cent, to 20,188.52. The S&P 500 lost 324.89 points, or 11.98 per cent, to 2,286.13 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 970.28 points, or 12.32 per cent, to 6,904.59.

Volatility gauges known as fear indexes spiked, with the Euro STOXX 50 in Europe surging almost 28 per cent to an all-time high and the CBOE Market Volatility index soaring more than 30 per cent as stocks plunged further into bear territory.

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