Canadian dollar above 76 cents US, oil rising as output freeze meeting confirmed
OPEC members and other oil producers to meet April 17 in Doha
The Canadian dollar was ahead by more than a penny and Toronto stocks rose after Qatar's top energy official confirmed OPEC member states and other major oil producers will meet next month to discuss a freeze on oil output.
The talks will be hosted in Doha on April 17, according to a statement from Mohammed bin Saleh al-Sada, Qatar's energy minister.
Oil prices reversed their downward trend of the last two days on the news. Brent crude soared above $40 US and West Texas Intermediate was up 5.8 per cent at the close of trading.
WTI, the benchmark North American contract, rose $2.12 US to $38.24 US a barrel. Brent crude, the main international contract, was up $1.53 at $40.27.
The loonie closed above 76 cents US at 76.21, gaining 1.37 cents US on the day, after the U.S. Fed announced it would not raise rates. The interest rate announcement caused a spike in currencies and markets.
The TSX also gained, rising 77 points to 13,478.
Oil prices have been declining for the past 18 months as an oversupply of oil floods world markets.
Saudi Arabia, which has crude that is relatively cheap to recover, was believed to be content to let prices drop in order to keep its market share.
Production from non-OPEC sources, primarily the North American oilpatch, has dropped as prices sank.
But the low prices have become problematic for most OPEC members, as governments are going into debt as revenue streams are diminished.
Russia, while not an OPEC member, is in particular economic trouble and plans to attend the meeting to discuss an oil freeze.
Some 15 oil-producing nations representing about 73 per cent of world output have agreed to take part, according to a statement from Qatar, which is head of OPEC.
"The continuous efforts of the Qatari government have been instrumental in promoting dialogue among all oil producers to support the Doha initiative, helping the stabilization of (the) oil market to the interest of all," al-Sada said in the statement.
Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Venezuela came to a tentative agreement with Russia earlier this month to freeze output if other oil producers follow suit.
OPEC members Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have expressed support for the initiative.
But Iran, which had sanctions on its oil exports lifted earlier this year, is an outlier. It has said it wants to increase production.
Ultimately much of the decision will rest with the world's biggest producer, Saudi Arabia, which has boosted production throughout the past year, even as oil prices tanked.
With files from Associated Press