North American markets end in negative territory as loonie and oil both

TORONTO — North American stock markets slid today as oil prices dropped, the latest signal that volatility in equities remains alive and well.The S&P/TSX composite index in Toronto fell 82.19 points at 12,763.44, pulled down by losses in the energy and base metals sectors.The negative sentiment was also felt in New York, with all the main indexes ending the day lower.The Dow Jones industrial average was down 188.88 points at 16,431.78.The broader S&P 500 composite index declined 24.23 points to 1,921.27 and the Nasdaq composite lost 67.03 points to 4,503.58.The Canadian dollar dipped 0.30 of a cent at 72.63 cents US.It was a similar story for commodities as the April crude contract lost $1.52 at US$31.87 a barrel, while April natural gas was at US$1.83 per mmBtu, down three cents.March copper was unchanged at US$2.11 a pound.Bullion prices was the only bright spot, with April gold rising $12.50 to US$1,222.60 a troy ounce.