U.S. stock-index futures fell after the government reported jobless claims fell by 8,000 last week and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said the central bank would step up stimulus later this month.
TheU.S. data comes ahead of Friday's monthly payrolls report.
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The U.S.'s first reported Ebola case knocked markets on Wednesday, especially some travel and freight stocks. U.S. benchmark indices skidded over 1 percent overnight, in the worst start to October in three years.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong's pro-democracy rally reached its seventh day on Thursday. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has called on officials in China and Hong Kong to exercise restraint in dealing with the protesters. Hong Kong and Chinese financial markets are closed China's national holiday.