U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Wall Street on Thursday, with futures for the S&P 500 up 0.27 percent, Dow Jones futures up 0.24 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.21 percent at 4:46 a.m. EDT.

Texas Instruments Inc was in the spotlight after the company raised its forecast for third-quarter earnings per share after the close on Wednesday, expecting to ride a gradual recovery in the global semiconductor industry.

Shares in Texas Instruments in Frankfurt were up 0.6 percent.

Echoing Texas Instruments, Dutch chip equipment maker ASML increased its sales outlook on Thursday, thanks to improved expectations of consumer demand and higher chip prices in some markets, sending its shares up 6.6 percent.

The dollar hovered near its 2009 lows on Thursday, with the dollar index <.DXY>, which tracks its performance against a basket of six major currencies, edging down 0.2 percent to 76.927. The index dipped to 76.803 on Wednesday, its lowest level in almost a year, hit by firmer equity and commodity prices.

Oil rallied more than $1 to $72.40 a barrel on Thursday, up for a fourth day running, lifted by a softer dollar, gains in equities markets and soothing words from OPEC.

Japan's Nikkei <.N225> rose 2 percent, its biggest one-day gain in two weeks, as increased risk appetite lifted shares around Asia and helped banking stocks rebound after a recent slide. European stocks inched higher in morning trade, with tech shares such as Infineon , Nokia and STMicroelectronics rallying after Texas Instruments lifted its outlook.

The day's earnings calendar includes results from National Semiconductor , while on the macro front, the economic agenda includes the Labor Department's first-time claims for jobless benefits for the week ended September 5, at 8:30 a.m. EDT.

Also, the Commerce Department releases July international trade at 8:30 a.m. EDT.

U.S. oil firm Chevron has sealed an estimated A$70 billion ($60 billion) worth of gas deals with three North Asian buyers for its Gorgon project in Australia, paving the way for a final investment decision in the coming weeks.

Walt Disney Co has seen a firming in local ad markets and more activity by auto makers in national ad sales but still expects theme park hotel bookings for its September quarter to trend downward, Chief Financial Officer Tom Staggs told analysts on Wednesday.

U.S. stocks closed higher for a fourth straight day on Wednesday, sending the Standard & Poor's 500 index to its best finish so far this year as industrial and technology companies gained from a weak dollar.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 49.88 points, or 0.53 percent, at 9,547.22. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> gained 7.98 points, or 0.78 percent, at 1,033.37. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> rose 22.62 points, or 1.11 percent, at 2,060.39. Wednesday's close for the S&P index was the highest since October 6 when it ended at 1,056.89.

(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Greg Mahlich)