Futures on major U.S. stock indices point to a higher opening on Monday, with futures on the S&P 500 up 0.23 percent to 1,241.20, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.09 percent to 11,440.00 and Nasdaq100 futures up 0.29 percent to 2,219.75.
With Christmas and year-end holiday period approaching and no economic data scheduled for the day, investors are likely to ignore overseas concerns and the sentiment is likely to be buoyed by last week's strong retail sales and housing data.
The South Korean military has begun live-firing exercises on Yeonpyeong Island, the country's defense ministry announced on Monday.
Moody's Investor Services on Friday downgraded debt-stricken Ireland's rating by five notches, citing the country’s troubled banking sector, uncertain economic outlook and decline in the Irish government's financial strength.
On Friday, US stocks finished narrowly mixed in a quiet session as traders await President Barack Obama signing the tax-cut extension bill into law. Last week, the House of Representatives approved the $858-billion tax compromise deal.
The euro weakened 0.29 percent to 1.3150 against the dollar while the greenback fell 0.19 percent against the yen to 83.8150.
Crude oil futures rose 0.12 percent to $91.78/barrel and gold futures strengthened 0.17 percent.
European stock markets were higher, with U.K. FTSE 100 edging up by 8.94 points, German DAX30 up by 30.14 points and French CAC 40 up by 26.62 points.