Circuit breakers shut down stock markets as oil panic hits

Oil prices drop up to 30 per cent

North American stock markets stopped Monday morning just after opening because circuit breakers created to slow down panic selling started up within minutes of opening. This is the worst day for the TSX since the financial crisis.

The TSX lost eight per cent, more than 1,400 points, minutes after opening, triggering the Canadian index’s circuit breaker.

The TXC, NYSE and Nasdaq all hit a level 1 trading halt, which automatically suspends all trading on the market for 15 minutes after a decline of more than seven per cent.

A level 2 halt is automatically imposed after a 13 per cent decline, for another 15 minutes. If the decline hits 20 per cent, a level 3 halt comes in to shut down trading for the rest of the day.

The panic started Sunday evening after Saudi Arabia started a price war in the oil market. This sent the price of crude tumbling more than 25 per cent. This is on the heels over existing fears over the Coronavirus.

READ MORE: New novel – compared to Orwell’s 1984 – foresees hard times ahead more tumultuous than its namesake

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