Bloodiest day for Toronto exchange in 8 years

September 30th, 2008 - 10:03 am ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Sep 30 (IANS) In its biggest single-day loss in eight years, the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) sank more than 840 points after the US House of Representatives rejected the $700-billion bailout for Wall Street Friday.It was the worst single-day fall in the TSX index since Oct 25, 2002, when it lost 840.26 points during the tech meltdown.

The Monday hammering left the composite index down by 840.93 at 11,285 points at close, pushing the bourse 6.93 percent down in a single day.

At one point during the day, the index was down by 954.98 points, staging a little rally towards the close.

As crude prices fell below US$100, energy shares on the TSX went into a virtual free, losing as much as 10 percent of their value by the end of the day.

The financial sector was also hammered as investors feared the Wall Street impact on Canadian giants because of their cross-border exposure.

The shares of Royal bank of Canada, which is the country’s biggest bank and lender, were down by $3.42 to $47.50.

Manulife Financial Corp, the nation’s top insurance group, also slipped lower by $1.55 to $36.25 after it emerged that it has $600 million in mortgage exposure to the collapsing Wachovia chain in the US.

The stock of BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM), whose shares lost $28.43 Friday after the wireless giant reported less-than-expected profits, went further down by $10.07 to end at $62.50.

In the past two trading days, RIM has been bloodied by 13.9 percent.

Monday was a far cry from May 20 this year for North America’s third largest stock exchange when the TSX composite index had crossed the 15,000-mark for the first time its 150 years old history. Fuelled by global oil prices, the index stood at 15,047.34 on that historic day.

Incidentally, it was also a Monday - Oct 19, 1987 - when the Toronto index had suffered its biggest-ever loss of 11.32 percent in a single day.

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