Stock index futures briefly extended their losses on Thursday after the latest reading on jobless claims.

While claims came in lighter than expected, it was not enough to overcome the negative tone in equities, which started after the HSBC flash purchasing managers index showed China's manufacturing sector activity shrank in March for a fifth successive month.

In addition, the March Markit's Eurozone Composite PMI showed further contraction, led by a decline in French and German factory activity.

The data greatly reduced hopes the euro zone could sidestep a recession while indicating China's economic slowdown has yet to wane.

S&P 500 futures fell 8 points and were below 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 fell 62 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 13.25 points.

(Reporting By Ryan Vlastelica; Editing by Theodore d'Afflisio)