Large sell-offs of gold stocks and telecom companies pushed the Toronto Stock Exchange lower Wednesday, as bullion prices dropped to their lowest level in almost three years.
Gold lost $49.50 US to $1,225.60 an ounce in New York. It had earlier been as low as $1,221, it's lowest level in 34 months. Gloom over last week's news that the Federal Reserve may soon slow its $85 billion a month worth of stimulus spending has taken the wind of out the sails of gold prices, sparking a multi-day sell-off.
The TSX's gold sector was off by more than six per cent. Barrick Gold, the world's largest gold miner, fell $1.38 to $15.50 Cdn a share.
So far this year, gold stocks have lost 46 per cent of their value on the TSX.
TSX down more than 50 points
The TSX as a whole on Wednesday rebounded in the afternoon but ended the trading day down 53.51 points to 11,951.90.
Another drag on the stock market came from telecoms, as investors reacted to a report that U.S. wireless giant Verizon has offered to buy Canadian upstart Wind Mobile, giving it a toehold in the Canadian market and presenting a possible major threat to the three main incumbents, Rogers, Bell and Telus.
Telus shares lost eight per cent, ending the trading day at $30.70 while Rogers stock fared even worse — down more than nine per cent to $41.67. Bell stock lost four per cent, closing at $41.57.
Bell Aliant and Manitoba Telecom shares were also slightly lower.
The Canadian dollar was up 0.27 of a cent to 95.43 cents US as the U.S. dollar weakened.