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Coronavirus: stocks tumble as Trump warns of ‘very, very painful two weeks’

Coronavirus outbreak: Trump says next two weeks will be ‘very, very painful’
During his daily briefing alongside the U.S. federal government coronavirus task force, U.S. President Donald Trump remarked that the next two weeks will be in his estimation "very, very painful" for average Americans but said there is reason for optimism beyond that.

North American stock indexes tumbled at the open on Wednesday, as investors fled to safe-haven assets after U.S. President Donald Trump warned of a “very, very painful two weeks” in reference to the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus.

READ MORE: Global shares skid as COVID-19 cases rise

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 689.78 points, or 3.15 per cent, at the open to 21,227.38.

The S&P 500 opened lower by 86.51 points, or 3.35 per cent, at 2,498.08, while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 240.60 points, or 3.12 per cent, to 7,459.50 at the opening bell.

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READ MORE: Coronavirus — parliament may be recalled again to approve emergency wage subsidy

In Toronto, the S&P/TSX composite index was down 352.39 points to 13,026.00 at 9:50 a.m. ET.

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The Canadian dollar was trading at 70.55 cents US compared to an average of 70.49 cents US on Tuesday.

— With files from the Canadian Press