TSX sees biggest gain since 2008 as stimulus ramps up

Canada’s main stock market notched on Friday its biggest gain since October 2008, as Canada ramped up stimulus to ease the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, while the Canadian dollar edged higher after hitting an earlier four-year low.

The Bank of Canada unexpectedly cut its overnight rate by 50 basis points to 0.75 per cent, its second half-point cut in nine days, and the government said it would offer C$10 billion in credit support to businesses.

Hopes of coordinated stimulus from world governments boosted stocks globally after several sessions of sustained, heavy losses on expectations of a global slowdown that could be prolonged.

U.S. President Donald Trump declared a national emergency to help facilitate increased funding to combat the virus.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 833.72 points, or 3.93 per cent, to 22,034.34, the S&P 500 gained 93.62 points, or 3.77 per cent, to 2,574.26 and the Nasdaq Composite added 257.23 points, or 3.57 per cent, to 7,459.04.

Meanwhile, the Toronto Stock Exchange Composite Index closed up 9.7 per cent at 13,716.33, recovering some ground after a record decline on Thursday. For the week, the index was down 15.2 per cent, its biggest drop since October 2008.

Nine of the TSX’s 10 main groups were higher, led by a near 15 per cent gain for the heavily-weighted financial services sector, while energy was up 10.6 per cent.

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