Canada’s main stock index plunged more than 1,000 points at the start of trading today amid fears about the economic consequences of COVID-19’s spread around the world.
The drop in Toronto and on U.S. markets was large enough to trip circuit breakers that forced a pause in trading.
The S&P/TSX composite index was down 1,472.75 points at 12,797.34 after trading resumed.
The decline on the Toronto market was across the board.
Shares of Royal Bank of Canada were down $7.86 at $80.01, while Enbridge was down $5.02 at $37.94. BCE was down $4.92 at $53.10.
A bear market is commonly defined as a loss of 20 per cent from a recent high. The TSX was nearly 29 per cent per cent off its record high of 17,970.51 set on Feb. 20.
In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 1,977.12 points at 21,576.10. The S&P 500 index was down 201.56 points at 2,539.82, while the Nasdaq composite was down 550.04 points at 7,402.01.
The Canadian dollar traded for 72.48 cents US compared with an average of 72.75 cents US on Wednesday.
The April crude contract was down US$1.99 at US$30.99 per barrel and the April natural gas contract was down 7.1 cents at US$1.807 per mmBTU.
The April gold contract was down US$50.80 at US$1,591.50 an ounce and the May copper contract was down 5.60 cents at US$2.4460 a pound.
The Canadian Press