Stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Wall Street on Thursday, with futures for the S&P 500 up 0.1 percent, Dow Jones futures up 0.2 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.1 percent at 0840 GMT.

Investors awaited a flurry of corporate results on Thursday from companies such as Coca-Cola , Microsoft and Procter & Gamble
, as well as the first estimate of the U.S. first-quarter GDP growth. Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a 2.0 percent annualized pace of growth compared with a 3.1 percent rate in the final fourth quarter estimate.

U.S. crude futures rose to their highest in 2-1/2 years and metal prices rallied as the Federal Reserve appeared in no rush to tighten its monetary policy.

The dollar sank to a three-year low against a basket of currencies on Thursday and was at risk of a drop to $1.50 versus the euro, with momentum-driven investors piling in anticipation U.S. interest rates will be low for a long time.

Japan's Nikkei <.N225> added 1.6 percent while European stocks were up 0.2 percent in morning trade, gaining ground for the sixth straight session, boosted by a raft of strong earnings from firms such as Deutsche Bank and Royal Dutch Shell .

Consumer goods maker Unilever , however, warned of higher commodity costs for 2011 as vegetable oil and chemical prices rose sharply, and said it would cut its own costs deeper to compensate.

Starbucks Corp warned that rising fuel and dairy costs will take a bigger chunk out of earnings than previously anticipated, and offered a full-year forecast that disappointed Wall Street.

Bid target NYSE Euronext , the transatlantic exchange operator, stepped up calls on shareholders to back a $10.2 billion bid from Deutsche Boerse as it unveiled robust first-quarter results.

Japanese consumer electronics giant Panasonic Corp <6752.T> said it was planning 35,000 job cuts over three years to March 2013, nearly 10 percent of its workforce, in a bid to pare costs and keep up with Asian rivals.

The Nasdaq jumped to a 10-year high as U.S. stocks rallied on Wednesday after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's dovish comments.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 95.59 points, or 0.76 percent, to 12,690.96. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 8.42 points, or 0.62 percent, to 1,355.66. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> climbed 22.34 points, or 0.78 percent, to 2,869.88.

(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Hans Peters)