COVID-19 hit markets hard in the first quarter of 2020. With countries restricting travel and populations practicing social distancing, markets in Canada, the U.S., and internationally fell by approximately 20 to 25 per cent from their 2019 year-end values. Emergency rate cuts in Canada and the U.S. effectively brought policy interest rates close to 0%. Oil prices plummeted, reflecting expectations of a sharp decline in economic activity and an oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia. With all the uncertainty, gold rose 6.0% as investors flocked to the safe haven.

MARKETS QTR-END
31-Mar-20
YR-END
31-Dec-19
CHANGE
THIS YEAR
S&P/TSX Composite
13,379 17,063 -21.6%
S&P 500
2,585 3,231 -20.0%
EAFE
1,560 2,037 -23.4%
GoC 10-Year
0.70% 1.70% -100bps
US Gov 10-Year
0.70% 1.92% -122bps
CAD$ / US$
0.711 0.770 -7.7%
WTIC Oil
$20.48 $61.06 -66.5%
Gold
$1,612.10 $1,520.50 6.0%

Returns are based on price change only, and exclude dividends.  Foreign indices are in USD.

Source: National Bank Financial, QUANT Monitor as of Mar 31, 2020