The world's stock markets remained under pressure on Monday after US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called the CEOs of six major banks on Sunday in an apparent attempt to reassure financial markets – but eventually fueled fears of investors.
In the fine trade on Christmas Eve, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was out of more than 400 points, or more than two percent, falling below the 22,000 level for the first time in 15 months.
The broader S & P 500 fell nearly one percent to 2,398, while the technology-focused Nasdaq was also about one percent lower at 6,247.
The Canadian and US markets close at 1:00 p.m. ET Monday to mark Christmas Eve.
US equity markets had their worst month in a decade as investors worried about growth prospects amid a global trade war escalating. Melancholy led Mnuchin to seek chief executives of major US banks to confirm they have enough money to finance all of their normal operations – even though there has been no serious liquidity concern shaking the market.
Today, I have convened individual calls with the CEOs of the country's six largest banks. See attached statement. pic.twitter.com/YzuSamMyeT
& mdash;@ stevenmnuchin1
The move was made to calm investors' fears, but it seems to have had the opposite effect.
"The reports of Steve Mnuchin's meeting with decision-makers are not going to cheer up Christmas much," said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG.
"Mnuchin is probably worried about his job, but everyone will come to the conclusion that there may be a lot more to worry about."
"Mnuchin has attempted some damage control," said Win Thin, global director of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman, adding that the move may backfire.
"Yes, the markets are worried about the recession, [but] Until this weekend, however, the markets were not so concerned about liquidity or release issues. And with the markets at an advantage, the last thing they needed was another issue to worry about, "Thin said.
It's not just actions that have taken a beating recently. Oil fell to $ 44.55 a barrel on Monday. After reaching $ 75 a barrel in October, the West Texas Intermediate, the United States' benchmark for oil, fell sharply in relation to concerns about growth.
The melancholy in oil has been bad news for TSX as TSX fell to its lowest level in more than two years at 13,875 on Monday, minus 60 points a day. This is Canada's lowest benchmark index traded since the summer of 2016.
Settlement was not confined to North America. France's CAC 40 index fell 1.5 percent to 4,626.39 while the FTSE 100 index of top UK shares fell 0.5 percent to 6,685.99. The German DAX was closed.