* TSX up 27.78 points, or 0.25 percent, at 11,281.01
* Touches highest level since early October
* Index’s energy group rebounds
* Potash Corp down 1.2 percent after Citi downgrade (Adds details, quote)
TORONTO, Sept 14 (Reuters) - After a shaky start, Toronto’s main stock index rose on Monday as strength in energy and financial shares helped lift the broader market to touch its highest level since early October.
Influential names on the upside included Suncor Energy (SU.TO), up 1.1 percent at C$37.11, and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO), which rose 0.9 percent to C$70.83. Another source of strength were financial stocks including Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO), up 1.4 percent at C$46.24.
“I don’t think there’s strong catalyst for movement either up or down. I do expect stay around unchanged, maybe slightly higher,” said Francis Campeau, broker at MF Global Canada, in Montreal.
Campeau noted, however, while it was a relatively small move higher, the index managed to remain near its highest level so far this year.
At 11:42 a.m. (1542 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 27.78 points, or 0.25 percent, at 11,281.01, with eight of its 10 main groups higher. It touched 11,305.12, the highest since Oct 3.
The index’s key energy group rose 0.4 percent and financials climbed 0.6 percent. Materials, home to miners and fertilizer companies, dropped 0.9 percent.
Another source of pressure on the index was Potash Corp of Saskatchewan POT.TO, which dropped 1.2 percent to C$95.67.
Citigroup on Monday lowered its rating on fertilizer producers Potash and Mosaic Co (MOS.N) to “hold” from “buy”, citing the likelihood of limited opportunity for fertilizer application this autumn among its concerns. [ID:nN14501206]
The index wavered in early goings as investor concern about a trade spat between U.S. and China pressured world stocks.
U.S. President Barack Obama announced safeguard duties on tire imports from China late last week. China responded by saying on Monday that it would request World Trade Organization consultations with the United States over the duties. [ID:nSP459289] [ID:nLD514738]
“It throws pebbles into the gears the global economy,” said John Johnston, chief strategist for Harbour Group at RBC Dominion Securities.
$1=$1.09 Canadian Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson