TSX ends down 279 points as panic selling grips markets

TORONTO - Panic selling in Asia prompted by developments in China spread across the globe and threw the Toronto stock market into a tailspin, ending the day off roughly 20 per cent from its all-time high.

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A loss of 20 per cent is generally considered bear market territory.

The S&P/TSX composite index was down for a seventh consecutive day, off 278.59 points at 12,448.21.

The loonie remained near 12 1/2-year lows at 70.94 cents U.S., down 0.08 of a cent.

In New York, the Dow Jones plummeted 392.41 points to 16,514.10, the S&P 500 lost 47.17 points to 1,943.09, while the Nasdaq declined 146.33 points to 4,689.43.

On the commodity markets, the February contract for benchmark crude oil slumped 70 cents to US$33.27 a barrel, March copper shed seven cents to US$2.02 a pound and the February contract for natural gas rose 11.5 cents to US$2.382 per mmBtu.

One bright spot was gold, with the February bullion contract rising $15.90 to US$1,107.80 an ounce.


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