The FTSE 100 <.FTSE> index is seen opening flat on Friday, according to financial bookmakers, as investors keep to the sidelines with all eyes likely to be directed to January's U.S. jobs report, due at 1330 GMT, for signs as to the strength of the U.S. economic recovery.
U.S. non-farm payrolls are forecast to rise by 150,000 after a 200,000 increase in December, with the unemployment rate seen static at 8.5 percent.
Other U.S. data due on Friday includes January's non-manufacturing ISM report, and December factory orders and revised durable goods orders, all scheduled for 1500 GMT.
The UK blue chip index closed 5.35 points, or 0.1 percent higher on Thursday at 5,796.07, with strength in miners on sector consolidation moves countering some disappointing corporate results for the likes of AstraZeneca
U.S. blue chips <.DJI> slipped 0.1 percent on Thursday as investors largely took a wait-and-see approach ahead of the key employment report, although optimism over the U.S. labour market was reinforced as new claims for weekly jobless benefits dropped more than expected in the latest week.
Asian shares fell on Friday as investors sat tight ahead of the U.S. jobs data, and as debt restructuring talks between Greece and its creditors dragged on.
Greece has kept hopes of a debt deal alive all this week but has pushed back the actual debt swap agreement needed to secure a crucial second batch of funds to prevent Athens from defaulting.
Euro zone finance ministers aim to agree a second financing package for Greece on Monday. A deal for Greece would include agreement on official new financing, the size of voluntary losses banks and other private bondholders are willing to accept and new reforms Athens must undertake.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> fell 0.2 percent, off a five-month high hit on Thursday, but looked set to record a fifth successive weekly gain. Japan's Nikkei average <.N225> fell 0.5 percent.
The latest economic data from China showed the official Purchasing Managers Index for non-manufacturing sectors dipping to 52.9 in January from 56.0 in December, providing a further case for policy easing to support growth.
On the domestic data front, January's Market/CIPS British services PMI report will be released at 0928 GMT, with a reading of 53.5 forecast, down from 54.0 in December.
UK stocks to watch on Friday are:
The telecoms provider posts third-quarter results.
The electronic components distributor issues a trading update.
The stockbroker issues a trading update.
(Reporting by Jon Hopkins)