US Markets

US futures higher; oil gains 2.5%

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Spencer Platt | Getty Images

U.S. stock index futures indicated a higher open on Thursday as traders eyed oil and continued to digest the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve's last meeting.

Oil rose on Wednesday after more reports about a preliminary accord among some major oil producing nations to freeze production. In oil markets on Thursday, Brent crude traded at $35.26 a barrel, up 2.2 percent, while U.S. crude was at $31.40 a barrel, up 2.5 percent.

Dow futures briefly gained about 100 points, while S&P and Nasdaq futures also pointed to a higher open.

Weekly jobless claims came in at 262,000. The Philly Fed came in at minus 2.8 for February.

Leading indicators are due at 10:00 a.m.

The Fed minutes, released on Wednesday, signaled that its members see risks increasing. Most U.S. central bank officials were still looking to raise rates and even discussed whether a rate hike could be appropriate in January.

After a discussion, they said tighter financial conditions could be the equivalent of further increases.

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In Asia, Japan's Nikkei closed up 2.28 percent, while the Shanghai Composite in China closed 0.16 percent lower.

In Europe, the pan-European STOXX 600 index was 0.8 percent higher.

On the earnings front, Applied Materials, Nordstrom and Boston Beer are expected after the bell.

— CNBC's Patti Domm contributed to this report