North American stock markets set to plunge when trading begins today


TORONTO — The U.S. futures market is pointed to another plunge on North American stock markets this morning.

Fears about the economic impact of COVID-19 have gripped investors despite a move by the U.S. Federal Reserve to boost the economy.

Stock markets in Asia and Europe were down sharply despite the Fed’s weekend cut to its interest rate.

Businesses have been closing their doors in an attempt to fight the spread of the virus.

The Fed chopped its key rate by a full percentage point — to a range between zero and 0.25 per cent.

The central bank said the rate would stay there until the economy shows it can survive a near-shutdown of activity in the United States.

The Bank of Canada on Friday also cut its key interest rate target by half a percentage point to 1.25 per cent as part of a co-ordinated plan by the federal government to help the economy.

Economists have warned that Canada is headed for a recession this year due to the impact of COVID-19 and a crash in oil prices.

Canada’s main stock index posted its biggest one-day drop on record last week.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 16, 2020.

Companies in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X)

The Canadian Press