3 Min Read
* TSX touches low of 11,245.47 points * All of index's 10 subsectors retreat By Jennifer Kwan TORONTO, June 4 (Reuters) - Canadian stocks sank to a near eight-month low on Monday as investor fears about a slowing global economic outlook weighed on commodity-linked issues and kept the benchmark index under pressure. Extending June's weak start, the Toronto main stock index followed overseas markets lower and at one point dropped 1 percent to touch 11,245.47, its lowest since Oct. 5, on persistent worries about the financial stability of the euro zone, as well as economic weakness in United States and China. The latest North American data to fan fears about slowing global growth was a government report on orders for U.S. factory goods, which fell in April for the third time in four months as demand slipped for items such as cars, machinery and computers. The data added to Friday's gloom after a Labor Department report showed U.S. job creation slowed in May for the fourth straight month. An industry report said the pace of growth in manufacturing slowed modestly in May. "It's follow-on of weaker U.S. numbers," said Rick Meslin, head of Canadian equities at UBS. "There are definitely concerns of more of a unified slowdown. What were individual concerns now seem to be playing out into a more global phenomenon with China slowing, the United States slowing and maybe the recovery is stalling," said Meslin. The index's key sectors of energy, materials and financials were lower. Big names on the downside included Barrick Gold , which sank 1.5 percent to C$42.99, as the price of gold eased. Suncor Energy was down 1.1 percent at C$27.17 as oil prices remained relatively soft. Also lower was Toronto-Dominion Bank, down by 0.9 percent at C$76.23, and Royal Bank of Canada, down 1.4 percent at C$49.30. At around 11:20 a.m. (1520 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was off 90.34 points, or 0.8 percent, at 11,270.86, extending last week's 1.9 percent loss. The uncertain worldwide growth outlook generally flushed more investors out of riskier assets on Monday, sending world shares and commodities down despite signs that a drive by Europe's leaders to tackle the region's debt crisis was gathering momentum. The euro climbed and bonds eased off last week's record low yields as speculation mounted that authorities will manage to keep the euro zone intact and ameliorate the region's festering debt crisis. Investors are waiting for the outcome of policy meetings by the European Central Bank this week, as some investors positioned for an outside chance of a rate cut. Factory prices held steady in the euro zone in April, giving the ECB some room to cut rates. In individual company news, Canada's biggest telecommunications company, BCE Inc was up 0.2 percent at C$40.95. It said over the weekend it has joined with a group of private equity fund managers to buy data center company Q9 Networks Inc for C$1.1 billion.