(New throughout, updates prices and market activity to close, adds investor comment)
* TSX ends down 420.93 points, or 3.12 percent, at 13,052.74
* All 10 of the TSX’s main sectors fall
* Energy group slumps more than 4 pct, financials down 2.8 pct
By Alastair Sharp
TORONTO, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index was battered on Monday, swept along by the global market rout that saw a nearly 9 percent plunge in Chinese stocks and sent commodity prices tumbling.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index lost 420.93 points, or 3.12 percent, to close at 13,052.74, its steepest daily loss since late 2011.
Just seven stocks gained, while 240 fell, with 124 of them hitting fresh 52-week lows.
The index has lost more than 1,000 points since early last week, as a string of lackluster data out of China, one of the world’s biggest economies and commodities consumers, have ignited worries the country will spur a global economic slowdown.
Shortly after the open it suffered its biggest intraday loss since 2009, falling 768.50 points, or 5.7 percent to 12,705.17.
Michael Sprung, president at Sprung Investment Management Inc, said the plunge could offer an attractive entry point, but only for those with a strong stomach and a long-term outlook.
“We wouldn’t recommend anybody rush in and just buy, buy, buy, but if you’ve been watching the market for some time here and looking for some particular stocks...this is the beginning of the opportunity,” he said.
Chinese stocks tanked on Monday when Beijing failed to intervene over the weekend as some had hoped, triggering panic selling around the globe.
Oil’s weeks-long slump accelerated, with prices tumbling as much as 6 percent, while copper, iron ore and gold also retreated sharply.
On Wall Street, the S&P 500 formally entered a correction territory, and the Dow Jones industrial average lost more than 1,000 points at one point.
“The fundamentals of individual stocks aren’t really relevant right now,” said Paul Hand, managing director at RBC Capital Markets. “Maybe this is the big one in terms of the earthquake and then there are lot of aftershocks that can go on for days and weeks.”
The hefty financials group, which also reports quarterly results this week, sank 2.8 percent, at one point touching its lowest level since October 2013.
The country’s four biggest banks ranked among the top five weightiest losers, with Royal Bank of Canada falling 2.9 percent to C$70.71. Bank of Montreal lost 4 percent to C$66.18.
Energy stocks continued their downward spiral, at one point plummeting to the lowest level since December 2003. The sector ended down 4.3 percent.
Suncor Energy Inc stumbled 3.9 percent to C$32.93. (Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Nick Zieminski and David Gregorio)