Business

Markets sell off after Trump pulls plug on stimulus talks

North American stock markets plunged after U.S. President Donald Trump pulled the plug on fiscal stimulus negotiations until after next month's election.

President instructs aides to not try to make a deal until after election

Stocks sold off late in the day after talks for a stimulus deal broke down. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

North American stock markets plunged after U.S. President Donald Trump pulled the plug on fiscal stimulus negotiations until after next month's election.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 174.06 points or about one per cent to 16,236.13 while in New York the losses were larger, with the Dow Jones industrial average, the tech-focused Nasdaq and the broader S&P500 all off about 1.5 per cent.

Markets were higher for most of the day until late in the afternoon when Trump said he has instructed aides to stop negotiating on another round of COVID-19 relief until after the election.

Trump tweeted that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was "not negotiating in good faith" and said he has asked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to direct all his focus before the election into confirming his U.S. Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett.

"I have instructed my representatives to stop negotiating until after the election when, immediately after I win, we will pass a major Stimulus Bill that focuses on hardworking Americans and Small Business," Trump tweeted.

Last week, the White House said it was backing a $400 US per week pandemic jobless benefit and dangled the possibility of a COVID-19 relief bill of $1.6 trillion. But that offer was rejected by Pelosi.

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