* TSX ends down 1.29 percent at 11,875.13
* Energy sector sags 3.05 pct as oil below $80 a barrel
* Materials pushed down by weak gold, base metal prices (Updates to market close, adds details, quotes)
By John McCrank
TORONTO, May 5 (Reuters) - Toronto’s resource-heavy main stock index tumbled lower on Wednesday on fears that Greece’s debt crisis could spread to other euro zone countries and derail economic recovery.
The slide was led by the heavyweight energy sector, down 3.05 percent, as the unfolding Greek crisis pushed the price of oil below $80 a barrel. [O/R]
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 155.73 points, or 1.29 percent, at 11,875.13. Earlier, it touched a low of 11,754.28, its weakest level since early March. Eight of its 10 sectors were down.
“The market’s concern is: are these sovereign debt concerns going to slow down or derail the economic recovery, initially in Europe, but overall, globally, and as a result commodities are pulling back,” said Anil Tahiliani, head of research at McLean & Partners Wealth Management in Calgary.
Protesters in Athens clashed with police over austerity measures, while policy makers warned of the dangers of contagion in other high-debt euro zone nations, sending global stocks and commodity markets lower. [ID:nSGE644093]
The price of gold rebounded from one-week lows on a return to safe-haven buying, helping to reduce the losses in the TSX materials group, which finished down 0.27 percent.
Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) rose 0.52 percent to C$44.13, while base metals producer Teck Resources TCKb.TO gained 0.51 percent to C$37.44.
$1=$1.03 Canadian Reporting by John McCrank and Ka Yan Ng; editing by Rob Wilson