Global markets hemorrhaged points today as investors’ focus shifted to an economic slowdown in Europe and falling oil prices.
The impact wasn’t quite as bad on Bay Street. The TSX clawed back from a triple digit drop earlier in the day, and finished just eight points below the flat line.
Midday rallies in seven of 11 sectors brought the exchange back to life. However, the oil-dependent energy sector dragged the index by plunging 2.3 percent.
Oil prices dipped $1.42 to $52.59 US a barrel, on news of rising U.S. crude supplies and record production in America.
Energy companies took the biggest hit with Crescent Point, MEG Energy Group, and Encana Corporation giving back between 3.5 and 5.8 percent.
Shaking markets was news of the European Union cutting its growth outlook for the euro zone this year to 1.3 percent, from the previously forecast 1.9 percent.
In a release, the European Commission stated that economic activity moderated in the second half of 2018 as global trade growth slowed, uncertainty sapped confidence, and some member states were “adversely affected by temporary domestic factors,” such as disruptions in car production, social tensions and fiscal policy uncertainty.
In New York, the Dow went for a 220-point plunge while the Nasdaq dropped 86 points, with the downbeat news from the EU mixed in with U.S./China trade-war uncertainty stoking jitters on Wall Street.
Citing sources, CNBC reported that a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping is “highly unlikely” before the March 2 trade deal deadline.
Bellwethers Caterpillar, Apple, Chevron, Exxon Mobile, and Goldman Sachs were deeply submerged in the red.
Another drag was a 9.8 percent drop in Twitter’s stock after the social media company said it was losing millions of users and will face a 20 percent jump in expenses this year.
The loonie took a beating against the greenback while it was a flat day for gold futures
The Canadian dollar fell to its lowest level in a week, slipping 52/100ths of a cent to $.07515 US while gold lost 60 cents to $1,311 an ounce.