Dow Jones drops sharply, loonie falls 0.85 cents

TORONTO - North American stock markets turned lower following two days of solid advances amid declining oil prices and renewed concerns over the U.S.

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economic recovery.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX index lost 10.51 points to close at 12,763.99.

The oil-sensitive Canadian dollar also retreated, down 0.85 of a U.S. cent at 71.90 cents US.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average slumped 211.61 points to 16,204.97, while the broader S&P 500 declined 35.40 points to 1,880.05 and the Nasdaq plunged 146.42 points to 4,363.14.

In commodities, the March contract for North American benchmark crude oil slipped for a second straight day, down 83 cents to US$30.89 a barrel.

The March contract for natural gas rose nine cents to US$2.06 per mmBtu, while April gold added 20 cents to US$1,157.70 a troy ounce and March copper shed three cents to US$2.10 a pound.


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