* TSX up 151.43 points, or 1.1 pct, at 13,918.19
* All 10 of the TSX’s main groups higher (Updates with details, comment)
By Solarina Ho
TORONTO, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index extended its rally on Monday, hitting a 2011 high, helped by January trade data out of China that showed strong and growing demand for commodities.
Optimism over China’s economic outlook grew as concerns eased about the country’s inflation overheating and as data showed imports surged, underscoring robust demand.
The energy and materials groups led the broad-based rally on the TSX. The two sectors, which make up roughly 50 percent of the index, rose 1.76 percent and 1.48 percent respectively.
Suncor Energy (SU.TO) added 2.68 percent to C$41.33, while Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) rose 2.43 percent to C$44.25.
“Those two stocks alone are 25 points of the TSX,” said Irwin Michael, a portfolio manager at ABC Funds.
“Market is thin, rates are still very low, the economy is very surreptitiously improving. We like what we see — this is a stock picker’s market — so it’s individual stocks that are moving ... China and everything else is just a bit of a diversion,” Michael said.
At 12:48 p.m. (1748 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 151.43 points, or 1.1 percent, at 13,918.19. The index also hit its highest level since July 2008.
All 10 of the TSX’s main groups were higher.
Among miners, Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) was up 1.86 percent at C$47.69. Cameco Corp (CCO.TO), which posted higher than expected fourth-quarter earnings late on Friday, surged 4.89 percent to C$43.54. [ID:nN14292027]
The influential and economically sensitive financial group was also up, climbing 0.95 percent. Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) gained 1.34 percent to C$79.52 while Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) advanced 1 percent to C$60.35.
Michael said trading was thin due to ongoing concerns over Egypt, despite the positive news last week that its long-time president, Hosni Mubarak, had stepped down.
“People are quite unsure of what the army’s going to do, because you don’t have the elections for about six months. They’re giving them the benefit of the doubt ... Apart from that, concern is it (political unrest) could spread to other north African and middle eastern countries.”
In individual corporate news, shares of Ventana Gold Corp VEN.TO rose 4.8 percent to C$12.87, slightly below the price of a sweetened takeover bid from AUX Canada, controlled by Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista. Ventana has accepted the offer. [ID:nN14278978]
($1=$0.99 Canadian) (Reporting by Solarina Ho; editing by Rob Wilson)