The Toronto Stock Exchange had its biggest loss of the year as North American markets plunged amid concerns that turmoil in Washington could hinder U.S. President Donald Trump’s pro-business agenda.

The S&P/TSX composite index was down 269.65 points at 15,273.68 at the close, falling 1.73% in a broad-based decline.

The commodity-heavy index’s largest reversal this year had been on February 24, when it fell 247.73 points.

Gold stocks were the TSX’s only positive sector as investors turned to the precious metal as a safe-haven asset.

The June bullion contract surged $22.30 to US$1,258.70 an ounce.

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In New York, the S&P 500 was down 1.82% to a reading of 2,357.03, while the Nasdaq composite index fell 2.57% to 6,011.24.

The Canadian dollar was trading at an average value of 73.45 cents US, down 0.10 of a U.S. cent.

Elsewhere in commodities, the June crude oil contract advanced 41 cents to US$49.07 per barrel, the June natural gas contract fell 3.8 cents to about US$3.19 per mmBTU and the July copper contract shed 0.4 of a cent to roughly US$2.55 a pound.

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