Canada's main stock index closed down almost 1.2 per cent Monday as oil prices dropped while U.S. markets were down even more as signs of heightened business activity renewed fears about the interest rate hike path ahead.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed down 243.40 points, or 1.19 per cent, at 20,242.26 as both energy and information technology stocks weighed. 

In New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 482.78 points at 33,947.10. The S&P 500 Index was down 72.86 points at 3,998.84, while the Nasdaq Composite was down 221.56 points at 11,239.94.

The Canadian dollar traded for 73.90 cents U.S. compared with 74.25 cents U.S. on Friday.

The January crude oil contract was down US$3.05 at US$76.93 per barrel and the January natural gas contract was down 70 cents at US$5.58 per mmBTU.

The February gold contract was down US$28.30 at US$1,781.30 an ounce and the March copper contract was down six cents at US$3.80 a pound.