* TSX falls 0.92 percent to 11,092.50
* Hits lowest level since Feb. 5
* Taseko drops 20 percent (Updates to official close, adds commentary)
By Ka Yan Ng
TORONTO, July 5 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index fell to its lowest level in five months on Monday as doubts about the strength of the global economic recovery mounted.
The index’s three biggest sectors were among the main decliners: oil and gas was down 1.54 percent, materials was off 1.06 percent, and financials fell 0.56 percent, all helping to drag the index to its lowest point since Feb. 5.
Key decliners included Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO), down 2.66 percent at C$34.01, and Teck Resources TCKb.TO, which fell 4.24 percent to C$30.27. Suncor Energy (SU.TO) lost 1.16 percent to C$30.75, and Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) fell 0.9 percent to C$57.35.
The index followed up last week’s 4.4 percent decline with a slow, steady fall in thin trading on a day when U.S. markets were closed for the Independence Day holiday.
“It’s a function of the fact that last week was not a great week, therefore why should any investor feel compelled to get into the market today, especially when the real drivers of the global equity markets are closed?” said Gareth Watson, Canadian Equity Advisor at Scotia McLeod.
“We will probably get back to focusing more on corporations as opposed to the broader macro picture because next week earnings season starts in the States.”
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE fell 103.56 points, or 0.92 percent, to 11,092.50, in thin volume. Earlier in the day, it fell more than 1 percent to its lowest point since Feb. 5.
Nine of the TSX’s 10 main sectors were lower, with four down more than 1 percent.
Misgivings about the strength of the global economic recovery gained force after Friday’s larger-than-expected drop in U.S. nonfarm payrolls for June, as well as recent reports that showed China’s economic activity was slowing, sparking new worries of a double-dip recession. [ID:nLDE6640O2]
Austerity measures in the euro zone have also fueled concerns over growth prospects for the global economy.
“People are obviously concerned about the chatter of a possible double-dip recession,” said Bruce Latimer, a trader at Dundee Securities.
“Whether that comes to be we’ll have to wait and see.”
In company news, food producer and distributor Premium Brands Holdings (PBH.TO) finished down 0.4 percent at C$12.55, giving up early gains after it said it will acquire a 76 percent stake in privately held Maximum Seafood. [ID:nN05210610]
Taseko Mines (TKO.TO) lost 20.2 percent to finish at C$3.32, adding to recent losses, as investors worried about the implications of a federal panel’s findings of environmental problems with the miner’s proposal to develop a gold and copper mine in British Columbia. On Monday, Taseko said it remained fully confident the mine will be approved by the federal cabinet. [ID:nSGE6610KO] [ID:nWNAB3074]
$1=$1.06 Canadian Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway