CANADA STOCKS-Banks, energy drag TSX lower; growth fears rise
* Index down 80.98 points, or 0.62 pct, at 12,979.58
* Eight of 10 main sectors weaker, led by financials
* RIM, Teck, TMX Group push higher (Recasts with closing prices, adds comments)
By Trish Nixon
TORONTO, June 23 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock market index ended lower on Thursday as a sharp drop in oil prices and growing concern about the outlook for the global economy hurt financial and energy shares.
Financials were the biggest drag on the index, led by Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO), down 1.5 percent at C$78.50, Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), down 1.3 percent at C$53.82, and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) off 1.2 percent at C$57.25.
Energy shares, down 1.1 percent, also weighed after oil prices hit a four-month low. Crude fell after the United States and International Energy Agency said they would release 60 million barrels of oil from strategic stockpiles to help spur the global economy. [O/R]
"It's the usual suspects here," said John Kinsey, portfolio manager at Caldwell Securities Ltd. "Oil is down almost $4 a barrel, energy stocks are down. The gold stocks had been lagging, and just when it looked like maybe they were going to do something they are getting trashed today."
Miners Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO), down 1.35 percent at C$42.98, and Goldcorp Inc. (G.TO), off 1.14 percent at C$47.59 rounded off the top 5 decliners.
Gold fell 2 percent on Thursday, its biggest one-day drop in more than a month, after disappointing U.S. job data hit investor risk appetite and boosted the U.S. dollar's safe-haven appeal. [GOL/]
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 80.98 points, or 0.6 percent, at 12,979.58. The index fell as low as 12,838.81 early in the session.
"On a technical basis, it was already oversold so we're actually seeing a bounce from above (recent) lows and that technically is a very encouraging sign," said Don Vialoux, technical analyst at JovInvestment Management Inc.
Vialoux said the year-to-date low of 12,763.54 reached on Monday should continue to provide near-term support for the next month or so.
Helping to offset the decline in the main index was Research In Motion's RIM.TO 5.5 percent rise to C$29.14.
The BlackBerry maker's shares have benefited this week from bargain-hunting and increased speculation that the sharp fall in its stock price could make it a more attractive takeover target.
Teck Resources (TCKb.TO), which has also seen its share price decline in recent weeks, was the second most influential gainer, up 3.1 percent at $45.54.
"It kind of looks like people are bottom fishing on some of these stocks." added Kinsey.
TMX Group Inc (X.TO) shares rose 2.37 percent to C$45.30 after the Maple Group consortium of Canadian banks and pension funds raised its hostile takeover bid for the operator of the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday. [ID:nN1E75L17E]
($1=$0.98 Canadian) (With additional reporting by Claire Sibonney and writing by Jeffrey Hodgson; editing by Rob Wilson)