European stock index futures pointed to strong gains on Thursday as global policy makers signaled they may take steps to stimulate economic growth. At 0602 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were up 0.3-0.7 percent. Japanese and Australian stock futures as well climbed. Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average expiring this month closed at 8,665 in Chicago yesterday, up from 8,530 in Osaka, Japan. They were bid in the pre-market at 8,650 in Osaka at 8:05 a.m. local time. Futures on Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced 1.5 percent today. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index rose 0.5 percent in Wellington.