US STOCKS-Futures up as weak China GDP raises stimulus hopes
* Futures up: Dow 268 pts, S&P 31.50 pts, Nasdaq 72.75 pts
By Abhiram Nandakumar
Jan 19 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were higher on Tuesday after China's slowest annual growth rate in 25 years raised hopes of further stimulus measures from Beijing.
* China's 2015 growth hit 6.9 percent after the fourth quarter slowed to 6.8 percent, capping a tumultuous year in which concerns about Beijing ability to rebalance the slowing economy have rattled investors across markets.
* The weak growth in China also prompted the International Monetary Fund to cut its global growth forecasts for the third time in less than a year.
* Crude prices, languishing near 12 year lows as an oversupplied market braced for Iran's oil coming online, were up on an uptick in Chinese oil demand. Benchmark Brent rose nearly 6 percent to $30.19.
* Global stocks rose, with investors hopeful of continued stimulus measures from central banks around the world even as the U.S. Federal Reserve looks to tighten monetary policy.
* Wall Street is coming off a massive selloff on Friday that saw the S&P 500 sinking to its lowest since October 2014.
* Investor focus is also on U.S. corporate earnings reports for a bearing on the impact of the global slowdown on results. S&P 500 companies are expected to report a 4.7 percent drop in quarterly profit, according to Thomson Reuters data. Continuación...