North American stock markets plunge at start of trading, loonie falls

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TORONTO — Canada’s main stock index plunged more than 400 points at the start of trading, while U.S. stock markets also fell.

The S&P/TSX composite index was down 408.76 points at 15,292.57.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 862.48 points at 26,127.51. The S&P 500 index was down 88.60 points at 3,101.54, while the Nasdaq composite was down 239.06 points at 9,781.29.

The Canadian dollar traded for 74.13 cents US compared with 74.68 cents US on Wednesday.

The July crude contract was down US$2.87 at US$36.73 per barrel and the July natural gas contract was up nearly four cents at US$1.82 per mmBTU.

The August gold contract was up US$21.00 at US$1,742.90 an ounce and the July copper contract was down nearly four cents at US$2.62 a pound.