Loonie falls, stock markets lower early Tuesday

TORONTO -- The Canadian dollar was down more than half of a U.S. cent as North American stock markets opened lower Tuesday.

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The loonie traded at 71.20 cents US, down 0.59 from Tuesday's close. The currency had been down about three-quarters of a cent at 9:15 a.m. after dropping sharply to as low as 71.03 cents US over 90 minutes.

North American stock marke(The Canadian Press)ts were also lower as they opened at 9:30 a.m.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX index opened 176.61 points lower at 12,497.76, a decline of 1.3 per cent from Monday's close. The index also dropped 147.76 points on Monday.

In New York, the major indexes were down but by less than one per cent. The Dow Jones Industrials average was down 154.02 points at 16,295.16, the broader S&P 500 index declined 13.66 points to 1,925.72 and the Nasdaq lost 28.12 points to 4,258.43.

On the commodity markets, the April gold contract rose $1.80 cents to US$1,129.80 an ounce and the February crude contract was down $1.29 at US$30.33 per barrel.



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