Stock futures pointed to a lower open on Wall Street on Thursday, as investors braced for all-important monthly jobs data. At 4:39 a.m. EDT futures for the S&P 500, Dow Jones and Nasdaq 100 were down 0.5 percent.

According to a Reuters poll of economists, U.S. non-farm payrolls data, the most closely watched U.S. economic indicator, is expected to show a loss of 363,000 jobs in June, compared with 345,000 job losses in May, while the unemployment rate is forecast to edge up to 9.6 percent from 9.4 percent in May.

European shares were down 1.2 percent in morning trade, as investors turned cautious ahead of the U.S. data and an interest rate decision by the European Central Bank, while auto stocks such as Daimler , Volkswagen and tire maker Michelin got hit by grim U.S. monthly auto sales released on Wednesday. <.EU>

Oil prices were little changed just above $69 a barrel, after falling the previous session on data showing a bigger-than-expected rise in U.S. gasoline stocks, which dampened hopes of demand-led recovery.

The dollar edged up from close to three-week lows on Thursday as the market awaited the jobs figures as a guide to recovery in the U.S. economy but also kept a watchful eye on the issue of reserve currencies. The greenback fell on Wednesday, dented by news that China was seeking debate about proposals for a new global reserve currency at next week's Group of Eight meeting.

The U.S. Treasury Department is expected to name as many as nine fund managers to operate the long-awaited Public-Private Investment Program (PPIP) to cleanse banks of toxic assets, a person familiar with the plan said on Wednesday.

An announcement from Treasury could come as soon as Thursday, the person said, adding that the roster of firms is likely to include Allianz SE's Pacific Investment Management Co, or Pimco, BlackRock Inc , billionaire investor Wilbur Ross and private investor Angelo Gordon & Co.

On the corporate front, Illumina Inc reported a lower-than-expected second-quarter revenue as customers delayed purchase of its arrays, and cut its 2009 revenue view, sending its shares tumbling 21 percent after the bell on Wednesday.

U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday as reassuring manufacturing data from China, Europe and the United States fueled hopes that the world's economy is on the road to recovery, but with the release of the payrolls data looming some caution prevailed, causing indexes to finish sharply off their highs.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 57.06 points, or 0.68 percent, to 8,504.06. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> gained 4.01 points, or 0.44 percent, to 923.33. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 10.68 points, or 0.58 percent, at 1,845.72.

So far this year the Dow is down 3.1 percent and the S&P is up 2.2 percent.

(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Greg Mahlich)