BUSINESS

Down, Down, Down: TSX, Loonie Slide As U.S. Market Has Worst Start To Year Ever

01/15/2016 05:04 EST | Updated 01/15/2016 05:59 EST

TORONTO — The Toronto stock market has closed at its lowest level since June 2013 as oil prices and the Canadian dollar continued to plunge.

The loonie continued to plumb depths not seen since 2003, losing 0.81 of a U.S. cent to 68.82 cents U.S.

The loonie is now undergoing its longest losing streak since it started trading freely against other currencies in the early 1970s.

In Toronto, the S&P/TSX composite index dropped 262.57 points or 2.13 per cent to 12,073.46. It has lost 9.2 per cent of its value since a recent peak on Christmas Eve, and has lost more than 20 per cent since it peaked last April.

Meanwhile, New York markets wrapped up what has been their worst two-week start to a year ever.

new york stock exchange

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) at the end of the day on January 15, 2016 in New York City. (Getty Images)

The Dow Jones industrial average plummeted 390.97 points or 2.39 per cent to 15,988.08, while the S&P500 shed 41.55 points or 2.16 per cent to 1,880.29.

The Nasdaq fell 126.58 points or 2.74 per cent to 4,488.42.

On commodity markets, the February contract for benchmark crude oil fell $1.78 to US$29.42, a low not seen in more than a decade. Western Canadian oil, which sells at a discount to the benchmark price,

February natural gas fell four cents to US$2.10 per mmBTU and March copper shed three cents to US$1.94 a pound.

The February gold contract gained $17.10 to US$1,090.70 an ounce.

— The Canadian Press, with a file from The Huffington Post Canada