Loonie drops, European indexes fall, benchmark crude is sub-US$30

TORONTO -- The Canadian dollar was down about one-quarter of a U.S. cent as the price of benchmark crude traded below US$30 a barrel and major European stock indexes tanked.

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The loonie traded at 71.68 cents US, down 0.22 with about an hour remaining before the Toronto Stock Exchange's open at 9:30 a.m. ET.

In Europe, the FTSE 100 in London was down nearly two per cent while the CAC 40 in Paris and Germany's DAX were down nearly three per cent.

The Dow Jones index futures were down 211.61 points at 16,204.97, the S&P 500 futures declined 35.40 points to 1,880.05 and the Nasdaq futures lost 146.42 points to 4,363.14.

On the commodity markets, the April gold contract rose $21.60 to US$1,179.30 an ounce and the March crude contract was down $1.02 at US$29.87 per barrel.



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