U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Wall Street on Thursday, with futures for the S&P 500 up 0.24 percent, Dow Jones futures up 0.34 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.52 percent at 1000 GMT.
European stocks inched up on Thursday, halting a two-day retreat, which could bolster the market's recent positive trend. The euro hit a 2-1/2 month high against the dollar, after German Ifo survey beat forecasts and boosted expectations that Europe's biggest economy would escape a recession.
The Euro STOXX 50 volatility index <.V2TX>, Europe's main gauge of investor anxiety known as the VSTOXX index, dropped to a seven-month low on early on Thursday, signaling an improvement in investor risk appetite.
Brent crude futures added $1 to $123.90 a barrel on Thursday, lifted by escalating tensions between Iran and the West as well as a weaker dollar index.
On the macro front, investors awaited U.S. weekly jobless claims data, with economists forecasting a total of 354,000 new filings compared with 348,000 in the prior week.
Bailed out Franco-Belgian bank Dexia
Jack in the Box Inc
Banks led U.S. stocks lower on Wednesday as the S&P 500 stalled near a 10-month-high after signs of weak European business activity rekindled concerns about a recession overseas.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> lost 27.02 points, or 0.21 percent, to 12,938.67. The S&P 500 Index <.SPX> dropped 4.55 points, or 0.33 percent, to 1,357.66. The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> fell 15.40 points, or 0.52 percent, to 2,933.17.
(Reporting by Blaise Robinson. Editing by Jane Merriman)