02/11/2016 10:57 EST | Updated 02/11/2017 05:12 EST

Oil Price Hits Lowest Point Since 2003, Below US$27 A Barrel

Spencer Platt via Getty Images
SWEETWATER, TX - JANUARY 19: An oil pumpjack works on January 19, 2016 in Sweetwater, Texas. Global oil prices continue their downward fall with U.S. oil dropping towards $27 a barrel, its lowest since 2003, on worries about global oversupply. Following a diplomatic agreement on nuclear fuel with America, Iran has forecast it will add 500,000 barrels per day to global production, following the lifting of sanctions. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
TORONTO — The Canadian dollar and Toronto Stock Exchange continued to retreat in early trading today as the price of oil traded below US$27 a barrel for the first time since September 2003.

After 15 minutes of trading, Canada's oil-sensitive loonie was down 0.13 of a cent at 71.64 cents US and the S&P/TSX composite index was down 170.14 points or 1.4 per cent at 12,015.58.

The benchmark oil futures contract for March was at US$26.74, down 71 cents, and had been as low as $26.22 earlier in the day.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 232.03 points or 1.5 per cent at 15,682.71, the broader S&P 500 composite index declined 25.40 points to 1,826.46 and the Nasdaq composite lost 46.00 points to 4,237.59.

Elsewhere in commodities, the April gold contract rose $48.50 to US$1,243.10 an ounce, March copper was down half a cent at US$2.02 a pound the March contract for natural gas was up 1.1 cents at US$2.06.