*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. [ID:nWALLIE6DU]
“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), down 1.5 percent at C$52.76, Suncor Energy (SU.TO), down 2 percent at C$32.45, and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO), 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)