CANADA STOCKS-TSX dives as Bernanke comments rattle markets

Wed Jul 21, 2010 3:01pm EDT
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 *TSX drops 131.57 points, or 1.13 percent, to 11,498.81
 *Comments by U.S. Fed's Bernanke drive market lower
 *All of TSX's main groups drop
 (Adds details, quote)
 TORONTO, July 21 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
fell sharply on Wednesday afternoon after U.S. Federal Reserve
Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank will act if the
soft economic recovery worsens.
 Bernanke said on Wednesday the U.S. economy faces
"unusually uncertain" prospects, and that the Fed was ready to
take further steps to bolster growth if needed.
 "It's all about the outlook being 'unusually uncertain.'
This is not the environment to put risk on. It's a perfect
environment to duck and cover," said Francis Campeau, broker at
MF Global Canada in Montreal.
 At 2:48 p.m. (1848 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 131.57 points, or
1.13 percent, at 11,498.81.
 All of the index's 10 main groups faltered, while commodity
prices also dropped. [O/R] [GOL/]
 Big names on the downside included Royal Bank of Canada
(RY.TO: Quote), down 1.5 percent at C$52.76, Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote),
down 2 percent at C$32.45, and Canadian Natural Resources
(CNQ.TO: Quote), which fell 2 percent to C$35.76. Research In Motion
RIM.TO fell 3.2 percent to C$55.89.
 The index's heavily weighted energy and financials sectors
led the way lower, both down by more than 1.5 percent.
 ($1=$1.05 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Peter Galloway)