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Stocks Bludgeoned In Widespread Sell-off -- Canadian Commentary

Canadian stocks were hammered Wednesday, part of a global rout sparked by President Donald Trump's ongoing controversies.

Wall Street was a sea of red amid reports that Trump asked since-fired FBI Director to end his investigation of ties between NSA Michael Flynn and the Kremlin.

Trump later divulged classifed information from Israel to Russia diplomats at the White House, according to published reports.

Fearing hurdles to Trump's low-tax, pro-growth economic policies, markets threw a major tantrum today.

The TSX Composite was down 269.65 points, or 1.73 percent, to 15,273.68, led by significant weakness among financial stocks, which tumbled 1.7 percent.

Ratings agency Moody's recently downgraded Canada's big six banks on concerns about their exposure to housing bubbles in Toronto and Vancouver.

Losses were widespread, with energy stocks dropping 1.4 percent despite higher oil prices. Health care shares lost 2.7 percent, while industrials were also bludgeoned.

In corporate news, Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX.TO) and its Salix Pharmaceutical unit have reached agreement with Teva's Actavis Laboratories to stay outstanding litigation regarding generic version of Xifaxin. Shares dropped 5.5 percent.

Bombardier (BBD_B.TO, BBD_A.TO) said that it reached a long-term partnership agreement with IBM to support the global integration of Information Technology services across Bombardier Transportation and the Company's aerospace segments. Shares slipped 1.4 percent.

Canadian manufacturing sales increased 1.0% to a record $53.9 billion in March, reflecting higher sales in the transportation equipment and food industries.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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