NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Precidian MAXIS Nikkei 225 Index ETF (NKY) led global equities higher on Tuesday as the Bank of Japan extended its loan program through 2015. The program had been expected to end next month.
The new terms of the program double the size of funds available from 3.5 trillion yen to 7 trillion yen and keep the borrowing rate at 0.1%, which should boost bank profits. The Nikkei index -- led by banking stocks -- jumped 3.1% higher on the news.
Meanwhile, Guggenheim CurrencyShares Japanese Yen Trust (FXY) fell through the day as investors saw the move by policymakers as a precursor for more central bank aid.
Both Japanese growth and industrial production figures fell below estimates this week, leading to questions about the Japan's economic recovery. If economic data continue to come in below expectations, the BOJ may be forced to ramp up stimulus spending.
In the U.S., SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) advanced only 0.1% on Tuesday, as disappointing New York manufacturing and U.S. housing numbers weighed on investor sentiment.
The U.S. numbers added to the case for the Federal Reserve to possibly rethink reducing stimulus at its next meeting and also pushed PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish (UUP) lower on the day.
The weather has been blamed for recent U.S. economic weakness, but if the numbers don't improve during the spring, Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen may be forced to reconsider the current path of the central bank's policy.