Stock markets and loonie soar to levels not seen in months as

TORONTO — North American stock markets continued their climb and the Canadian dollar traded at a nine-month high after a reported deal between Russia and Saudi Arabia to cut oil production sent energy prices higher.The Canadian dollar gained for a third consecutive day, adding 0.85 of a U.S. cent to 78.38 cents US. The last time it was near this level was July 14, when it closed at 78.49 cents US.Looking for signs that Canada is in recovery mode? Check out our big bank stocksJohn Ivison: Trudeau convinced that pipeline strategy must be top priorityOil bust leaves energy industry, real-estate sector locked in battle over empty oilfield worker campsThe oil-fuelled currency was pushed up by energy prices, as the May contract for North American benchmark crude rose $1.81 to US$42.17 a barrel. Earlier in the day, Russia’s Interfax news agency reported that the deal with Saudi Arabia to freeze oil output would not require compliance by Iran. OPEC ministers meet this Sunday in Doha, Qatar.Energy stocks also helped provide support for Toronto’s S&P/TSX composite index, which rocketed 158.66 points to 13,581.42.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average also enjoyed a strong triple-digit gain, up 164.84 points at 17,721.25, while the broader S&P 500 also rose 19.73 points to 2,061.72. The Nasdaq composite added 38.69 points to 4,872.09.Elsewhere in commodities, May natural gas rose nine cents to US$2 per mmBtu, May copper advanced six cents to US$2.15 a pound and June gold rose $2.90 to US$1,260.90 a troy ounce. read more