* TSX down 54.64 pts, or 0.5 percent, at 11,517.07
* TSX at lowest level since Oct. 6
* Materials, financials lead retreat
* Euro zone leaders discuss crisis measures (Adds details, analyst comments)
By Jon Cook
TORONTO, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index hit a seven-week low on Thursday morning, as materials and financial issues retreated in response to euro zone debt fears, sparked by rising German government bond yields.
Wednesday’s German bond auction pushed the cost of borrowing over 10 years for the European heavyweight above those of the United States for the first time since October. [ID:nL5E7MN1K2]
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 54.64 points, or 0.5 percent, at 11,517.07, after rising slightly at the open. The index was at its lowest level since Oct. 6, after plunging nearly 2 percent the previous session.
Heavily weighted materials issues led the decline as gold miners slumped on concerns of a slowdown in Europe. Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) was the sector’s biggest drag, dropping 1.4 percent to C$49.55.
With U.S. markets closed for Thanksgiving and the absence of any significant North American earnings, investors were focused on the outcome of a meeting between the leaders of Germany, France and Italy - the euro zone’s top three economies. [ID:nL5E7MO037]
“It’s been termed a crisis meeting,” said Paul Taylor, chief investment officer at BMO Harris. “This is the train wreck unfolding in slow motion.”
Despite having little exposure to European sovereign debt holdings, Canadian financials were also caught in the slide, dipping 0.3 percent.
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) skidded 1.5 percent to C$68.56 while Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) fell 0.7 percent to C$48.47.
($1=$1.05 Canadian) (Editing by Rob Wilson)