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U.S. markets suffer worst day in two years on coronavirus concerns

Last Updated Feb 24, 2020 at 2:26 pm MDT

The TSX ticker is shown in Toronto on May 10, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

U.S. stock markets suffered their worst day in more than two years with the Dow Jones industrial average closing down 3.6 per cent, while Canada’s main stock index posted a triple-digit decline amid concerns stemming from an increase in new cases of the novel coronavirus outside of China.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 280.79 points or 1.6 per cent at 17,562.74, the biggest drop since August.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 3.6 per cent by losing 1,031.61 points at 27,960.80. The S&P 500 index was down 3.4 per cent or 111.86 points at 3,225.89, while the Nasdaq composite was down 3.7 per cent or 355.31 points at 9,221.28.

The Canadian dollar traded for 75.31 cents US compared with an average of 75.62 cents US on Friday.

The April crude contract was down US$1.95 or 3.65 per cent at US$51.43 per barrel and the April natural gas contract was down 7.4 cents at US$1.84 per mmBTU.

The April gold contract was up US$27.80 at US$1,676.60 an ounce and the March copper contract was down 3.1 cents at US$2.58 a pound.