Toronto market plunges below 9,000 mark

October 28th, 2008 - 10:05 am ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Oct 28 (IANS) Bloodbath continued on the Toronto markets here Monday as North America’s third biggest stock exchange plunged below the 9,000-mark for the first time in four years.The TSX composite index fell by 750 points to end the day at 8,537.34 as commodity prices dropped further and investors exited on the fears of the looming recession.

With a fall of about 25 percent this month, the Toronto stock exchange is heading for the worst monthly decline since 1940 in its history.

As usual, the three heavyweight sectors of finance, energy and mining were the worst hit by Monday’s sell-off.

While the financial sector slipped down 8.47 percent, the energy sector lost 7.19 per cent and mining 7.2 per cent. Among the worst hit was the financial services giant Manulife Financial which lost 15.3 percent of its value, ending $3.83 lower at $21.17.

Falling commodity prices also dragged down the Canadian dollar below 78 cents US, clsoing the day at 77.59 cents US.

The Canadian currency, which was riding high against the greenback till last month, has dropped steeply, recording its worst monthly decline since 1950.

Having risen a historic level of 110 cents US on Nov 7 last year, the Canadian dollar is feared to slip further as Canada’s main exports - oil, metals, minerals and lumber - face bleak prospects in the face of recessionary conditions in its main market down south (the US).

The Canadian housing sector is also heading for a big slowdown in years as prices and demand plummet. In the Toronto area alone, the sales are down by 21 percent and prices by 15 prices.

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