Canada's main stock index fell for the fourth straight session on Monday as the energy sector, which had been a major driver of the index's rally since September, declined by 1.3 per cent.

Cenovus Energy Inc (CVE.TO) fell 2.5 per cent to $13.93 and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ.TO) retreated 0.9 per cent to $45.89.

Canadian Natural Resources declined as Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.N), which holds shares in the Canadian company, pushed ahead with its vast disposal program.

Crude oil futures, which have been supported by Middle East tensions, settled two cents US higher at US$56.76 a barrel.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index closed down 13 points, or 0.08 per cent, to 16,026.26, its lowest close since Nov. 3.

It touched its lowest intraday level since Nov. 3 at 15,999.10, as uncertainty over the U.S. tax legislation being considered in Congress pushed world stock markets further away from recent record highs..

Still, the TSX has rallied more than seven per cent since September. It rose last week for the ninth straight week, its longest run in more than two decades.

Five of the index's 10 main groups ended lower on Monday.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.3 per cent.

Shares of Intertape Polymer Group Inc (ITP.TO), surged 14.3 per cent to $20.00 after the manufacturer of specialty tapes reported stronger-than-expected revenue for the third quarter.

Teck Resources Ltd (TECKb.TO) climbed 1.9 per cent to $27.80, while copper, one of the metals that the company produces, advanced 1.7 per cent to US$6,898.5 a tonne. 

Canada Goose Holdings Inc (GOOS.TO), which had surged last week to a record high after reporting quarterly earnings, fell 3.5 per cent to $31.81.

Financials, which account for 35 per cent of the index's weight, edged 0.1 per cent higher.