February 24, 2016 11:31 am

Oil falls alongside North American stock markets

Credit/THE CANADIAN PRESS
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TORONTO – The Toronto stock market plunged at the opening bell on Wednesday, dragged down by sinking metal, energy and financial stocks.

The S&P/TSX index shed 225.97 points or 1.77 per cent at 12,537.47 in the first half hour of trading but had recovered some ground as the morning progressed. The composite was off 181 points at 11:15 a.m. ET.

The Canadian dollar was up just under a tenth of a U.S. cents to 72.57 cents US. On the commodity markets, the April crude contract dipped $1 at US$30.81 per barrel.

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MORE: Latest coverage — plunging oil

The negative sentiment was also felt across the major indexes in New York. The Dow Jones industrial average declined 217 points or 1.32 per cent at 16,214,76.

The broader S&P 500 composite index dropped 24.67 points or 1.28 per cent to 1,896.60 and the Nasdaq composite index dipped 60.25 points or 1.34 per cent to 4,443.34.

The April gold contract surged $27.50 to US$1,250.40 an ounce as investors continued to seek safer asset classes.

MORE: Latest outlook for oil prices is low, and staying there

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