U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Wall Street on Wednesday, as the Federal Reserve's gloomier assessment of the economy rattled investors and the central bank's measures to support the fragile recovery failed to reassure world markets.

At 4:23 a.m. ET, futures for the S&P 500 were down 1.1 percent, Dow Jones futures down 0.97 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures down 1.12 percent.

European stocks were down 0.8 percent in morning trade, led lower by banks such as Societe Generale and UBS , while Japan's Nikkei index <.N225> tumbled 2.7 percent, suffering its worst session in nearly a month as a stronger yen deepened worries about the longer-term prospects for Japan's economy.

The dollar fell to an eight-month low versus the yen on Wednesday as traders pared back on risk following the decision from the Fed to invest proceeds from mortgage backed securities into government debt.

German Bund futures hit a record high on Wednesday, keeping pace with a rally in U.S. Treasuries sparked by the Fed's move.

Walt Disney Co will be in focus after the company posted results showing hit movies like Toy Story 3 and higher advertising sales lifted the firm's quarterly profit above Wall Street's expectations, despite dwindling theme park attendance in the United States.

Banking stocks will be in the spotlight after a source told Reuters Barclays Capital will cut about 400 jobs in back office functions in the United States, Europe and Asia.

Swiss food giant Nestle raised its full-year outlook, striking a more optimistic note than its peers after buoyant demand for its strong brands in emerging markets boosted sales in the first half.

Genzyme Corp , the target of a takeover bid by France's Sanofi Aventis , said its newly disclosed disposal of batches of drugs stemmed from one-time quality control issues, and was not related to deeper manufacturing problems weighing on the biotech company since last summer.

Economic data on tap on Wednesday includes June international trade, while on the earnings front, companies scheduled to report quarterly results on Wednesday include Macy's Inc and Cisco Systems .

U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday but closed off their lows after the Federal Reserve said it would take new steps to counter a weak recovery. The Dow, which was down about 100 points before the Fed's announcement, briefly turned positive, though buying interest waned on the Fed's more pessimistic assessment of the economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was down 54.50 points, or 0.51 percent, at 10,644.25. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 6.73 points, or 0.60 percent, at 1,121.06. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was down 28.52 points, or 1.24 percent, at 2,277.17.

(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)