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Toronto market takes third consecutive triple-digit loss

Weakening commodity prices brought down the Toronto stock market again on Tuesday, sending it to a third consecutive session of triple-digit losses with declines in every major sector.

Toronto's S&P/TSX composite index lost 177.98 points to 13,663.88, as the mining sector led losses, down 2.9 per cent.

The Canadian dollar wrapped up 0.08 of a cent to 93.49 cents U.S.

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Gold stocks closed 2.3 per cent lower as the August bullion contract ended down $9.40 at $645.30 (U.S.) an ounce on the Nymex - it's lowest level since January.

Falling oil prices also left their mark, helping to push the energy sector down 1.9 per cent.

Light sweet crude for August delivery fell $1.41 to $67.77 (U.S.) a barrel, its lowest point since June 14, as investors anticipated the U.S. government will report another rise in crude and gasoline inventories in advance of the summer travel season.

"I think there is concern about the sustainability of some of the prices as they continue to move up - whether it be on metals, gold or energy products. A large part of it comes from uncertainty in the U.S. market and where interest rates are headed," said Fred Ketchen, manager of equity trading at Scotia Capital.

"We have this wall of worry that's been built up now. Markets have been quite strong this year and all the sudden we're going through a rather significant correction."

On the TSX, telecom stocks were down 1.5 per cent, as Telus Corp. said it has opted not to submit a bid to acquire rival BCE Inc. BCE shares fell $1.23 to $39.49 while Telus climbed 19 cents to $62.19.

Some analysts have suggested that Telus could rejoin the game once other bidding proposals play out, aiming to purchase certain divisions of Bell, like its cellphone operations, from the winning private equity company.

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Manulife Financial Corp. struck a deal to acquire Berkshire-TWC's mutual fund and securities dealerships, with more than 700 advisers and 237 branches. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The financials index had the smallest decline of the major sectors, down 0.25 per cent as Manulife shares lost 21 cents to $39.24.

The TSX Venture Exchange fell 70.34 points to 3,119.55.

On the TSX, declines beat advances 1,167 to 479 with 218 unchanged as 431.9 million shares traded worth nearly $8.1-billion.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrials moved down 14.39 points to 13,337.66. The Nasdaq composite index was behind 2.92 points to 2,574.16 and the S&P 500 index fell 4.85 points to 1,492.89.  - Canadian Press

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