Canada's main stock index was down almost 1.3 per cent Tuesday with broad-based losses led by technology, health care and financials, while U.S. stock markets slid more than two per cent.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index was down 262.60 points, or 1.28 per cent, at 20,252.64.

In New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 697.10 points, or 2.1 per cent, at 33,129.59. The S&P 500 Index was down 81.75 points, or two per cent, at 3,997.34, while the Nasdaq Composite was down 294.97 points, or 2.5 per cent, at 11,492.30.

The Canadian dollar traded for 73.99 cents US compared with 74.15 cents US on Friday.

The April crude oil contract was down 19 cents at US$76.36 per barrel and the April natural gas contract was down 18 cents at US$2.18 per mm/BTU.

The April gold contract was down US$7.70 at US$1,842.50 an ounce and the March copper contract was up 12 cents at US$4.23 a pound.