North American stock market plunges as trading day begins, loonie down

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TORONTO — Canada’s main stock index posted a triple-digit decline in early trading and U.S. stock markets also fell as the volatile swings on financial markets continued for another day amid concerns about the economic fallout from the novel coronavirus outbreak that began in China.

The S&P/TSX composite index was down 193.26 points at 16,586.27.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 665.76 points at 26,425.10. The S&P 500 index was down 71.01 points at 3,059.11, while the Nasdaq composite was down 178.01 points at 8,840.08

The Canadian dollar traded for 74.53 cents US compared with an average of 74.67 cents US on Wednesday.

The April crude contract was up five cents at US$46.83 per barrel and the April natural gas contract was down 1.2 cents at US$1.815 per mmBTU.

The April gold contract was up US$16.30 at US$1,659.30 an ounce and the May copper contract was down 1.80 cents at US$2.5680 a pound.