Stock futures pointed to a higher open on Thursday on optimism the G20 meeting underway in London will agree on ways to temper the economic crisis.

Financial shares rose in pre-market trading as they are closely linked to the strength of the global economy.

Bank of America chief executive Kenneth Lewis told CNBC television the bank has a huge capital cushion even if the economy continues to deteriorate, which also helped sentiment.

Bank of America shares jumped 7.8 percent to $7.60 while Citigroup climbed more than 11 percent to $2.98.

We're having a robust morning propelled by optimism at the G20 and the hopes that globally we can all emerge economically stronger in the coming months, said Andre Bakhos, president of Princeton Financial Group in Princeton, New Jersey.

However, Bakhos cautioned that recent enthusiasm could be hampered by Friday's U.S. employment data for March.

Due to the fickleness of the market and the type of market we're in, tomorrow's data could cause a reversal of fortune, he said.

S&P 500 futures rose 15.60 points and were 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 133 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 23.50 points.

Shares of General Motors jumped more than 18 percent to $2.28 in premarket trade, a day after executives cited March sales data that pointed to the first signs of brightening in the auto industry.

U.S. oil futures rose nearly 5 percent to $50.68 a barrel, supported by hopes that a summit in London of leaders of the Group of 20 major developed and emerging economies would deliver a package of measures to bolster growth.

European shares surged 3 percent in a broad rally, hitting a six-week high on revived hopes the global economy may be finding a floor.

Stocks in Asia surged to a three-month high, building on a three-day rally on optimism the U.S. economy has bottomed.

U.S. economic data scheduled for Thursday includes weekly jobless claims and factory orders for February.

On Wednesday, U.S. factory and home sales data raised hopes the downturn is moderating, sparking a broad stocks rally.

(Editing by James Dalgleish)