* TSX ends down 0.51 percent at 11,523.60
* Five of 10 sectors lower
* Golds up 2.26 percent
* RIM falls 4 percent (Updates with official close, comment, further detail)
By Claire Sibonney and Pav Jordan
TORONTO, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index had its weakest close in three weeks on Thursday, led by banks and insurers, as deepening apprehension over the outlook for the global economic recovery hit prices.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 58.61 points, or 0.51 percent, at 11,523.60. That followed a 2.2 percent retreat on Wednesday.
The decline was led by economically sensitive financial shares, as growing fears the global economy could slip back into recession hit investor sentiment.
“People are nervous about a double dip here and how that affects of course the banks,” said John Kinsey, a portfolio manager at Caldwell Securities.
The financial sector fell 1.56 percent. Big decliners included Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO), which dropped 2.4 percent to C$59.11, and No. 1 Canadian insurer Manulife Financial (MFC.TO), down 4.62 percent at C$12.79 per share.
“When interest rates get extremely low as they are now, brokerage firms and insurance companies have a difficult time making money because their entire business model is dependent on interest rates,” said Aaron Fennell, senior market strategist at Lind-Waldock Canada.
“If they keep interest rates very low for a very long period of time then insurance companies can’t generate the returns they need to make good on their insurance payouts.”
Stock in Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO), the nation’s third-largest insurer, retreated 1.66 percent to C$26.10.
As the price of oil fell towards $75 a barrel after data showing U.S. jobless claims unexpectedly rose to the highest level in nearly six months, the index’s powerhouse energy sector also fell, giving up 1.55 percent. [ID:nN11227633] [O/R]
Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) fell 2.4 percent to C$33.89 and fellow oil company Suncor Energy (SU.TO) was down 1.2 percent at C$32.94, despite its announcement of a deal with Direct Energy to sell natural gas assets for about C$375 million. [ID:nSGE67B08I]
“Energy is down a lot today because people are still worrying about a slowdown in global growth, led by worries about a slowdown in the U.S,” said Kate Warne, Canadian market strategist at Edward Jones, adding there was not much new to feed the negative sentiment.
“The market is likely to flip back and forth with this emotional reaction to almost every individual indicator, while the trend is likely to be positive but likely quite slow.”
Also weighing heavily on the market was a new wave of worry about Research In Motion’s RIM.TO and the future of its BlackBerry business in India.
RIM RIM.TO shares lost 3.98 percent to C$56.44 after a senior Indian government source said the popular BlackBerry email and messenger services will be shut down if the company does not address security concerns by Aug. 31. [ID:nSGE67B09R]
“It has been a tough day, obviously not as bad as yesterday, but I guess the only bright spot in the market was the golds,” said Kinsey.
Gold miners rallied more than 2.2 percent as the price of the safe-haven metal had its biggest one-day rally in 2 months. [GOL/]
Tim Hortons Inc THI.TO, Canada’s largest restaurant chain, shot up 6.18 percent to C$37.63 after posting a 21 percent rise in net income. [ID:nN11243667]
$1=$1.05 Canadian Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson