U.S. stock index futures point to a lower open on Friday, ahead of the release of durable-goods orders data at 8:30 a.m. EDT.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 0.46 percent, while futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index were down 0.61 percent and those on the Nasdaq 100 Index were down 0.64 percent.
Investors are likely to focus on durable-goods orders data, which is expected to increase by 1.5 percent in April, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists. It had dropped 6.9 percent in the previous month. The core durable-goods orders for April, which excludes transportation equipment, is expected to increase by 0.5 percent after declining 2.9 percent in March.
European stock markets were down too with the London's FTSE 100 down almost 0.7 percent at 7:48 a.m. EDT, even as the eagerly awaited business confidence data out of Germany showed an unexpected jump. Germany's DAX-30 was down 0.8 percent and France's CAC-40 was down 0.13 percent.
Munich based-Ifo, an economic research organization, reported on Friday that the business climate index rose to 105.7 points from 104.4 points in April -- its first rise after two consecutive monthly declines.
Japan's Nikkei ended 0.89 percent higher at 14612.45 after a volatile day of trading. The index traded 3 percent down at one point before climbing 3 percent higher later in the day from the previous day’s close.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index ended 0.23 percent lower at 22,618.67 and Chinese Shanghai Composite gained 0.57 percent, while South Korea’s KOSPI Composite advanced 0.22 percent.
U.S. markets ended marginally lower on Thursday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.08 percent, the S&P 500 Index closed down 0.29 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 0.11 percent. Shares of PC maker Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) gained about 17 percent after the company announced robust quarterly results and issued guidance above market expectations.