US STOCKS-Futures up ahead of September jobs data
* Futures up: Dow 63 pts, S&P 7.25 pts, Nasdaq 22 pts
By Abhiram Nandakumar
Oct 2 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures rose on Friday as investors await the crucial September jobs report that could help strengthen the case for the Federal Reserve to increase interest rates before the end of the year.
* The Labor Department's report, due at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT), is expected to show U.S. employers added 203,000 jobs last month, a brisk enough pace to show the U.S. economy's resilience. This is the last major data before the Fed meets later this month.
* Global markets rose in anticipation of a strong report, as investors look to get past the worst quarter since 2011 and concerns about slowing global economic growth.
* The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq closed slightly higher on Thursday in a choppy start to the fourth quarter as investors waited for the jobs report and the quarterly earnings season.
* Financial markets have been roiled by worries about a global economic slowdown, particularly in China. The Institute for Supply Management said on Thursday its index of U.S. factory activity fell to its lowest since May 2013. Factory activity in China also fell, but less than expected.
* The Fed's decision not to raise rates from near zero in September, as it waits for signs of strengthening inflation, added to the uncertainty. The Fed last raised rates in June 2006.
* A small hike in rates could help calm volatile equity markets and start giving the Fed some ammunition to deal with any future economic slowdowns. Continuación...