US STOCKS-Futures rally after BOJ ramps up stimulus

viernes 31 de octubre de 2014 08:22 GYT

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By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK, Oct 31 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures rallied on Friday alongside most markets globally after the Bank of Japan significantly ramped up its stimulus program just days after the U.S. Federal Reserve wound down its own package of economic incentives.

If futures' gains hold after the open, the S&P 500 will test its record high set more than a month ago.

The BOJ's board voted 5-4 to accelerate purchases of Japanese government bonds while tripling its purchases of exchange-traded funds and real-estate investment trusts.

At the same time, Japan's $1.2 trillion Government Pension Investment Fund announced new allocations for its portfolio, including raising its holdings of domestic and foreign stock holdings to 25 percent each from 12 percent. A Nikkei newspaper report on this announcement on Thursday contributed to an afternoon rally in U.S. stocks.

The timing of the moves sends a strong signal to investors, coming right as six years of aggressive U.S. stimulus come to an end and as euro zone inflation data kept the pressure on the European Central Bank to further ease monetary policy.

"Investors have been watching for a while to see if the rest of the world would start to grow and help multinationals in the U.S.; this is a great step towards that," said Rick Meckler, president of investment firm LibertyView Capital Management in Jersey City, New Jersey.   Continuación...