Loonie, U.S. markets join TSX in morning declines

TORONTO -- Canada's dollar and U.S. stock indexes began the second week of 2016 on a positive note Monday but later took a dive and joined the Toronto Stock Exchange in negative territory.

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The S&P/TSX Composite index was down 148.84 points or 1.2 per cent at 12,415.75. The index lost 4.3 per cent of its value last week, and is down more than 20 per cent from an all-time high set in September 2014 -- signalling a bear market.

In New York, the major indexes started positive but were down about a half a percentage point after 90 minutes of trading. The Dow Jones average of 30 stocks was down 38.55 points at 16,307.90, the broader S&P 500 index fell 8.13 points to 1,913.90 and Nasdaq dropped 20.54 points to 4,250.24.

Major European equity indexes had begun the day but turned negative. London's FTSE 100 and Paris CAC 40 were slightly lower and Germany's DAX was up a bit. Asian markets closed mostly lower before North America trading began, with China's Shanghai suffering another major decline, falling about 5.3 per cent.

The Canadian dollar was at 70.48 cents US, down 0.20 cent from Friday's close but had been up earlier.

On the commodity markets, the February gold contract rose $3.30 to US$1,101.20 an ounce, the February crude contract was down $1.36 at US$31.80 per barrel and the February contract for natural gas was down eight cents at US$2.39.



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