Stock index futures rose on Monday after China held off on raising interest rates over the weekend despite high inflation pressure.
Investors were relieved that Beijing's policy moves did not include an interest-rate rise, but China's central bank told six of the country's biggest lenders that a special increase in required reserves will be extended, the latest step to try to quell inflation, sources told Reuters.
Sentiment was also boosted by General Electric Co's
Large consumer and producer price gains in China were not immediately met with an interest rate hike from the People's Bank of China, at least not yet, and the lack of one sent the Shanghai index up almost 3 percent and the rest of Asian markets followed, said Peter Boockvar, equity strategist at Miller Tabak & Co in New York. That strength spilled over into Europe and has the S&P futures also higher.
Data over the weekend showed China's industrial output in November topped expectations, while the headline inflation rose to a 28-month high in November.
U.S. President Barack Obama's tax deal with Republicans will likely win grudging passage in the U.S. Congress, backers and critics said, despite the president's clash with liberals who branded it a giveaway to the rich.
S&P 500 futures rose 3.2 points and were slightly above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures gained 36 points, while Nasdaq 100 futures added 4.75 points.
The Financial Times reported that European officials are considering plans to overhaul the euro zone's 440 billion euro rescue fund and use it to buy bonds of distressed governments, making it easier to help debt-swamped countries without resorting to fully-fledged bailouts.
Grocery store chain Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co
Private equity firm Carlyle Group's
U.S. stocks ended higher on Friday, with the S&P 500 at its highest level since Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008, and breaching technical levels that suggest the year-end rally will persist. The Dow posted two consecutive week of gains.
(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)