* TSX down 190.06 points, or 1.28 percent, at 14,664.23
* Nine of 10 main index sectors decline
* RBC, TD lead market lower
By John Tilak
TORONTO, March 10 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index dropped to its lowest in five weeks on Tuesday, hit by concerns that the U.S. Federal Reserve could raise interest rates sooner than later.
Further, a strong U.S. dollar and mixed economic data from China put pressure on oil prices, weighing on shares of energy producers.
Since the release of a bullish U.S. jobs report on Friday, investors have been speculating that the Fed might accelerate its plans to raise rates.
Recent comments from a Fed official calling for the U.S. central bank to swiftly end its easy monetary policy and raise interest rates only heightened those worries.
The benchmark TSX declined sharply for a third straight session. It has shed nearly 4 percent since the start of the month.
“Fear of higher rates is the topic of the day. That’s why people are backing off a little bit,” said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier. “I still think there’s a lot of slack in the economy and (the Fed) should hold off here.”
“Overall, this is just a normal hiccup,” he said, adding that he does not see any major market meltdown.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 190.06 points, or 1.28 percent, at 14,664.23. Nine of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red.
Financials, the index’s most heavily weighted sector, showed the biggest decline among the major groups, slipping 2.2 percent. Royal Bank of Canada gave back 2.4 percent to C$75.12, and Toronto Dominion Bank lost 2.5 percent to C$52.86.
Shares of energy producers were down 1.2 percent, with the prices of Brent and U.S. crude oil trading lower. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd declined 1.4 percent to C$36.16, and Suncor Energy Inc fell 1.5 percent to C$35.41. (Editing by Nick Zieminski)