* Futures up: Dow 181 pts, S&P 20 pts, Nasdaq 50 pts
By Tanya Agrawal
Sept 9 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures rose sharply on Wednesday as positive comments from Chinese officials kept alive hopes of further stimulus measures for the economy calmed investors.
* China’s Ministry of Finance said the government will strengthen fiscal policy, boost infrastructure spending and speed up reform of its tax system, adding to other steps to reenergize sputtering growth.
* The Shanghai Composite closed 2.3 percent higher and the CSI 300 index rose 1.96 percent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 4.5 percent.
* U.S. stocks closed up more than 2 percent on Tuesday, bouncing after steep losses last week.
* The stock market gains were sparked by a rally in Chinese shares on Tuesday, when weaker-than-expected August trade reinforced investors’ expectations that Beijing would act to bolster slowing growth in the world’s second-largest economy.
* Investors will also keep an eye on data scheduled to be released later on Wednesday, including job openings and labor turnover numbers for July. Job openings, a measure of labor demand, are likely to have risen to 5.288 million in July from 5.249 million in the prior month.
* Some investors have argued that the recent market volatility will force the U.S. Federal Reserve to wait until the year-end to raise long-term interest rates.
* Apple shares were up 1 percent at $113.45 premarket. The iPhone maker is expected to unveil new offerings at its annual conference.
* Yahoo was down 2.9 percent at $30, a day after the U.S. Internal Revenue Service denied its request for a private letter ruling on a possible tax-free deal related to the spinoff of its stake in Alibaba. Alibaba was up 2.2 percent at $62.25.
Futures snapshot at 7:05 a.m. ET (1105 GMT):
* S&P 500 e-minis were up 19.75 points, or 1 percent, with 222,502 contracts traded.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 50.25 points, or 1.17 percent, on volume of 33,288 contracts.
* Dow e-minis were up 181 points, or 1.1 percent, with 29,544 contracts changing hands. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal)