U.S. stock index futures point to a lower opening on Friday as investors are cautious ahead of key U.S. monthly non-farm payrolls and unemployment data from the government.
Futures on the S&P 500 are down 0.27 percent, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average are down 0.46 percent and Nasdaq100 futures are down 0.45 percent.
Investors are eagerly waiting for the government's monthly nonfarm payrolls report, which is the most closely-watched economic data pertaining to the jobs market and is a key gauge for the direction and pace of the economic recovery.
The median forecast for the non-farm payrolls is a gain of 95,000 jobs in July compared to 18,000 jobs in the previous month, while unemployment rate is expected to remain unchanged at 9.2 percent.
The U.S. economy needs at least 100,000 new jobs per month to keep pace with the expansion of the labor market. It needs a lot more than that to lower the unemployment rate and keep climbing out of the Great Recession. However, job gains were just 18,000 in June and 54,000 in May.
On Thursday, US stocks slumped as fears about the global economy slipping into another recession weighed on the sentiment. All three major U.S. indices have now erased all gains made during the year.
Over the past ten days, U.S. indices have fallen more than 10 percent. The 4.78 percent slide for the S&P 500 was the worst such drop since Jan. 20, 2009, when it fell 5.28 percent.
The euro advanced 0.45 percent to 1.4156 against the dollar and the yen gained 0.57 percent against the greenback.
Crude oil futures declined 0.82 percent to $85.92/barrel and gold futures rose 0.63 percent.
European stock markets declined to 14-month lows on Friday, following a global rout, as investors awaited a jobs report for clues on economic outlook. Markets are currently lower with FTSE 100 down by 132.48 points, DAX30 down by 139.96 points and CAC 40 down by 19.91 points.