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Stock markets lose energy

Stock markets dropped heavily yesterday as crude oil prices fell to the lowest level since mid-March and fears grew that big American banks are imperilled by swelling bad debts.

Stock markets dropped heavily yesterday as crude oil prices fell to the lowest level since mid-March and fears grew that big American banks are imperilled by swelling bad debts.

Toronto’s S&P/TSX composite index fell 311.50 points to 9,126.15, with the energy and base metals sectors contributing most to the drag.

Energy stocks tumbled 6.5 per cent as the May crude oil contract tumbled 8.8 per cent on a stronger U.S. dollar and higher inventories. Oil ended the day down $4.45 to $45.88 US a barrel on the Nymex, its lowest since March 11.

The loonie fell 1.56 cents to 80.74 cents US.

Wall Street’s Dow Jones industrial average dropped 289.60 points to 7,841.73.

Renewed worries about the U.S. banks came on word that their lending remains tight and anxiety that Washington may take big ownership stakes in banks as its $700-billion US bailout fund runs down.

 
 
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