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'It's about survival': Markets continue to drop as COVID-19 concerns heighten

Last Updated Mar 18, 2020 at 5:52 pm MDT

A man watches the financial numbers at the TMX Group in Toronto's financial district. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

CALGARY (660 NEWS) — There continues to be major losses in Toronto and New York as markets drop due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The TSX down about eight per cent, while the DOW was off six per cent.

The price of Western Canadian Select Oil also taking a hit, dropping more than $4 to $7.50 a barrel.

READ MORE: North American stocks fall at the open, loonie dives below 70 cents US

“Nobody can say they are not shocked by this,” CIO of Auspice Capital Tim Pickering said. “When you see prices up ten dollars for WCS Oil on a USS per barrel basis, it’s shocking.”

Pickering adds the lowest prices seen for the Canadian Crude Index (CCI) which go back to 2016, was $15.76 US per barrel, and to see it below $10 is devastating.

Now, Pickering says it’s all about survival for these companies going forward.

“It’s going to be about risk management, have those companies put hedges in place to shore up the higher price, back when they had the opportunity, at least on some of their production.”

READ MORE: Loonie drops below 70 cents U.S. for first time in four years

Though companies can do all they like to try and help themselves, it’s going to take some help from the government to save the industry.

“It’s mission-critical, not just to this province but this country,” Pickering said. “We have to look at it as a war, because it is a war, Saudi Arabia and Russia have declared a war, and it’s going to be about survival.”