04/20/2015 11:15 EDT | Updated 06/20/2015 01:12 EDT

Stock markets open higher after Chinese central bank moves to boost economy

TORONTO - North American stock markets opened higher today following a decision by China's central bank to boost that country's economy.The S&P/TSX composite index gained 22.17 points to trade for 15,382.72. The Canadian dollar was down 0.08 of a U.S. cent at 81.70 cents.The increase on the stock market followed a move by China's central bank to cut the required reserve ratio for banks by one percentage point on Sunday to stimulate lending.China's economy grew by seven per cent in the first quarter of the year, the lowest quarterly expansion since the 2008 financial crisis.In the U.S., the Dow industrials gained 177.27 points to trade for 18,003.57, while the Nasdaq climbed 30.11 points to 4,961.93. The S&P 500 index added 15.46 to reach 2,096.64.On the commodity markets, the May crude contract down 27 cents at US$55.47 a barrel, while the June gold contract was down US$7.50 at US$1,195.60.