At present, the Macro Processor silently inserts a dot after the > sign. This happens in general when a syntax error can be repaired by inserting a missing value. The motivation looks like: "here is something missing, so we insert a missing"!. Of course, no one would write this with the purpose of having a dot inserted by the Macro Processor; this surely is a mistake.
Theoretically, making such a syntax error (which can be repaired by inserting a missing) a fatal error requires a new system option, in order to preserve compatibility.