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Goldman Sachs specialist trader Meric Greenbaum (L) shows executives from Marine Harvest; Chairman Ole Eirik Leroy, (C) John Fredriksen (2nd R) and Lief Rode Onarheim (R) the price of their company's stock before it begins trading on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange January 28, 2014. (BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS)
Goldman Sachs specialist trader Meric Greenbaum (L) shows executives from Marine Harvest; Chairman Ole Eirik Leroy, (C) John Fredriksen (2nd R) and Lief Rode Onarheim (R) the price of their company's stock before it begins trading on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange January 28, 2014. (BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS)

At the open: TSX drops as traders await tapering decision Add to ...

The Toronto stock market fell sharply as traders awaited word from the Federal Reserve on further tapering of a key stimulus measure and watched efforts to stabilize certain emerging market currencies.

The S&P/TSX composite index dropped 99.53 points to 13,588.13. The Canadian dollar was up 0.27 of a cent to 89.91 cents (U.S.).

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New York’s Dow Jones industrials tumbled 150.72 points to 15,777.84, the Nasdaq composite index lost 40.32 points to 4,057.64 and the S&P 500 index was down 16.01 points to 1,776.49.

Currencies in countries including India, Turkey, Russia and South Africa have been under pressure as investors wondered how they’ll be affected by the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy to reduce its monetary stimulus.

Nerves were initially smoothed by the Turkish central bank’s aggressive interest rate hike to stabilize its currency. The move gave an initial boost to the lira. But confidence was shaken as the effect gradually faded.

Meanwhile, the Fed is widely expected to announce it is further cutting back on the monthly purchase of bonds, a move that had kept long term rates low and encouraged a rally on equity markets.

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