* TSX down 116.55 points, or 1 percent, at 11,513.33
* “Unusually uncertain” U.S. recovery adds to jitters
* Nine of TSX’s main groups drop (Updates to close, adds quotes)
TORONTO, July 21 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index fell sharply on Wednesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve said the U.S. economy faces “unusually uncertain” prospects, adding to investor concerns about a slow economic recovery.
The central bank’s Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday policymakers believe the U.S. economy is still on a path to recovery, but the Fed is ready to take further steps to bolster growth if needed. [ID:nWALLIE6DU]
The remarks to the Senate Banking Committee added to investor jitters about a sluggish economic recovery, helping to push down North American equities. [.N]
In Canada, big names on the downside included Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), off 2.9 percent at C$52.00, Suncor Energy (SU.TO), down 1.8 percent at C$32.54, and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO), which fell 1.6 percent to C$35.92.
“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.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished the session down 116.55 points, or 1 percent, at 11,513.33.
Nine of the index’s 10 main groups skidded, while oil and gold prices also dropped. [O/R] [GOL/]
The index’s heavily weighted energy and financials sectors led the slide, down 1.2 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively. The lone sector in the black was consumer staples, up 0.3 percent.
($1=$1.05 Canadian) (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan)