* TSX down 59.72 points, or 0.49 percent, at 12,042.26
* Eight of TSX's 10 main sectors lower (Adds details, quotes)
By Jennifer Kwan
TORONTO, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock market index fell for a second straight session on Wednesday, led lower by weak gold miners as investors squared positions following recent strength.
The index's heavyweight materials sector, home to miners and fertilizer companies, sank 1 percent despite steadiness in bullion prices. [GOL/]
Energy producers fell 0.6 percent despite firmness in oil prices, which rose above $74 a barrel. Suncor Energy (SU.TO) dropped 0.8 percent to C$33.21, while Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) fell 1.24 percent to C$34.33. [O/R]
"The major reason for the TSX to be lower today is because of profit-taking. That's been caused because the TSX has reached a level that is fairly close to multi-month highs," said Elvis Picardo, analyst and strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.
"There is a section of the market that's quite bearish on the fundamentals. For the TSX to get to multi-month highs or get close to it is a heck of a solid reason for people to take money off the table."
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended the day down 59.72 points, or 0.49 percent, at 12,042.26, with eight of its 10 main groups lower.
The blue chip S&P/TSX 60 index .TSE60 closed 3.63 points, or 0.51 percent, lower at 701.50.
It was the index's second day of retreat after rising for eight consecutive trading days. Late last week, the index brushed against this year's high of around 12,300, which was set in April.
Seasonal factors also likely contributed to the index's drop, said Aaron Fennell, senior market strategist at Lind-Waldock Canada.
"People get back from vacations and start looking at their portfolios and decide to clean out anything they're concerned about," he said.
"That's probably why equity markets tend to do very poorly in the fall because any negativity that has been accumulating in the marketplace is acted on after Labour Day."
Financial stocks, up 0.1 percent, were one bright spot on the TSX as banks rose on market hope that details expected from a meeting of the Basel banking committee on new capital requirements this coming weekend might free banks to raise dividends. [ID:nN08125837] [ID:nLDE6870JP]
Investors also digested the Bank of Canada's decision on Wednesday to raise its benchmark interest rate for a third consecutive time this year, nudging the rate up 25 basis points to 1 percent. [ID:nN08241537]
$1=$1.04 Canadian Additional reporting by Claire Sibonney; editing by Peter Galloway