* TSX down 293.21 points, or 2.03 percent, at 14,180.49
* All of the 10 main index sectors decline
* Energy shares tumble 4.8 percent
By John Tilak
TORONTO, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index declined 2 percent to its lowest in seven weeks on Monday, hit by a drop in oil prices that took down oil and gas shares and sluggish data from Asia that raised concerns about the global economy.
Weakness in China’s imports and a fall in the pace of its export growth highlighted worries about an economic slowdown there, and separate data showed the Japanese economy lost more ground than expected in the third quarter.
Oil prices tumbled to a five-year low as worries about oversupply gripped the market again. Oil has been falling since June, but the selloff accelerated after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries decided last month not to cut production.
The Toronto stock market’s energy sector, which has been a casualty of the bloodbath, gave back 4.8 percent. It is down nearly 40 percent since the middle of June.
The benchmark TSX index has shed nearly 10 percent since hitting a record high in September.
“The psychology is extremely negative. We’re back into panic mode,” said David Cockfield, managing director and portfolio manager at Northland Wealth Management. “The market in Canada is becoming more and more irrational.”
“People are selling because the market is down and they think it’s going to go down further,” he said. “They’re probably going to be right because they’re selling.”
Cockfield, who is waiting on the sidelines until the dust settles, said the oil and gas selloff has unnerved the market and now “investors are selling everything”.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 293.21 points, or 2.03 percent, at 14,180.49. All of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red.
Financials, the index’s most heavily weighted sector, lost 1.7 percent, with Bank of Nova Scotia giving back 3 percent to C$64.18, and Toronto-Dominion Bank losing 2.3 percent to C$53.01.
In the oil and gas group, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd fell 3.7 percent to C$35.76, and Encana Corp declined 5.3 percent to C$15.94.
The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, was down 1.2 percent. First Quantum Minerals Ltd dived 6.6 percent to C$16.75.
In corporate news, Precision Drilling Corp said it expected capital spending to be lower in 2015, sending its shares down 6.6 percent to C$6.40.
$1=$1.15 Canadian Editing by Peter Galloway