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Stock futures decline as Draghi speaks

U.S. stock futures turned lower on Thursday after U.S. weekly jobless claims rose more than expected and the European Central Bank held interest rates at record lows.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits declined by 17,000 to 297,000, versus a 295,000 forecast.

The European Central Bank held interest rates unchanged, with investors listening to a news conference by ECB President Mario Draghi for signals as to when the central bank might add further stimulus.

Goldman sees 50% chance of ECB QE

The Bank of England held its benchmark interest rate at a record low on Thursday, prompted by feeble wage growth, relatively low inflation and stagnation in the euro zone.

In other news, FOMC members Mester and Brainard will be speaking in Washington today. Meanwhile in Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered his annual Presidential address to the Federal Assembly, where he accused Western powers of "pure cynicism" over the crisis in Ukraine.

In Europe , shares were higher in morning trade ahead of the central bank data and Asian stocks climbed following record highs overnight after the Federal Reserve's Beige Book indicated optimism about the economic outlook.