RTTNews - Bay Street stocks plunged on Wednesday, plagued by significant weakness in the mining, energy and financial sectors. Toronto's main index finished in the red for a third straight session and posted its lowest close since May 1.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index plunged 368.19 points or 3.65% to finish at 9,709.51. The index had reached a seven-month high above 10,300 last week.

Mining stocks plunged 10.15% as copper dropped in Comex trading. First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) plummeted 9.1% after the copper miner posted a first quarter net income of US$10.9 million or US$0.16 per share, compared to US$182.0 million or US$2.65 per share in the year-ago period.

Among the other big names, Teck Cominco (TCK.B.TO) plunged 16.2%, FNX Mining (FNX.TO) lost 7% and HudBay dropped 4.6%.

Energy stocks fell 5.25% as crude oil dropped 83 cents to $50.02 on the NYMEX. Canadian Oil Sands (COS.UN.TO) plunged 9%, Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) dropped 6.3%, Suncor (SU.TO) lost 5.1% and Encana (ECA.TO) fell 4.5%.

Addax Petroleum (AXC.TO) plunged 7.4% after the company revealed net income of US$5 million or US$0.03 per share, down sharply from US$240 million or US$1.51 per share in the prior-year quarter.

Financials are down 4.6% with each of the big six banks posting notable losses. Royal Bank (RY.TO) fell 4.7%, Scotiabank (BNS.TO) declined 4.7%, CIBC (CM.TO) dropped 4.6%, Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) fell 4.4%, National Bank (NA.TO) dropped 4.2% and Toronto-Dominion (TD.TO) fell 3.7%.

In other corporate news, Gammon Gold (GAM.TO) fell 8.4% after the company reported first-quarter net income of US$2.6 million or US$0.02 per share, compared to net income of US$8.5 million or US$0.07 per share in the same quarter last year.

Pan American Silver Corp. (PAA.TO) dropped 0.8% after the company said its first quarter profit declined from last year, hurt by lower base metal and silver prices, offset in part by a reduction in cost of sales.

Hydrogenics Corp. (HYG.TO) plunged almost 12% after reporting first-quarter net loss of US$4 million or US$0.04 per share, compared to net loss of US$4.32 million or US$0.05 per share last year.

ING Canada (IIC.TO) lost 6.9% after the insurer reported a net loss for the first quarter of C$36.3 million or C$0.30 per share compared with net income of C$23.0 million or C$0.19 per share in the corresponding period last year.

On the economic front across the border, a Commerce Department report showed that retail sales fell 0.4 percent in April following a revised 1.3 percent decrease in March. Economists had expected sales to come in unchanged compared to the 1.2 percent decrease originally reported for the previous month.

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