TSX surges after biggest percentage drop since 1940

ANKARA, TURKEY - MARCH 13: Health officials disinfect Grand National Assembly of Turkey due coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak in Ankara, Turkey on March 13, 2020. (Photo by Aytac Unal/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The TSX (^GSPTSE) ended the day up more than 9 per cent after a brutal week in which circuit breakers that halted trade were triggered twice by precipitous falls over coronavirus fears.

Early gains were sustained as Ottawa announced stimulus measures and U.S. President Donald Trump declaring COVID-19 a national emergency.

Canada’s main stock index fell around 11 per cent this week and dipped into bear market territory.

The TSX jumped more than 5 per cent at the open, after the biggest single-day percentage drop since 1940 Thursday over coranavirus fears.

Financials (XFN.TO) and energy sector (XEG.TO) stocks led the way, with gains of around 5 per cent and 7 per cent respectively.

Investors seem to take solace in coordinated central bank stimulus measures to keep the economy afloat and efforts to get the spread of the virus under control.

The rally has been widespread. It started on overseas markets and North American futures jumped so much that circuit breakers kicked in to limit buying.

Thomas George, president at Grizzle, says we’re not out of the woods yet.

“We believe the TSX will continue to remain at these low (or lower) levels for 2-3 quarters. One bright spot for the market are the gold mining equities, gold has been the lone commodity that has withstood the coronavirus associated volatility,” George told Yahoo Finance Canada.

“This is maybe one of the pivotal moments in the Canadian market where the sector composition of the index doesn't revert to the mean, energy equities could remain at these low levels for a very long time to come.”

Jessy Bains is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jessysbains.

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