Futures on major U.S. indices point to higher opening on Friday ahead of economic data including trade balance and monthly import price index.

Futures on the S&P 500 are up 0.33 percent, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average are up 0.23 percent and Nasdaq100 futures are up 0.23 percent.

Investors are likely to focus on October trade balance and monthly import price index reports which are due to be released before the markets open, while Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index and November's monthly budget statement will be released after the markets open.

US trade deficit in October is expected to remain unchanged from September's deficit of $44.0 billion, while November's Import Price index is expected to gain on monthly basis by a further 0.8 percent after 0.9 percent incline in the previous month.

Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index, which measures the level of consumer confidence in economic activity, is expected to show a reading of 72.50 compared to 71.60 in the previous month.

Resource-related stocks will be in focus as Chinese trade surplus rose much stronger-than-expected in November. November trade surplus was 15 percent higher compared with the same month a year earlier but below the $27.1 billion in October 2010, which could clear the way for the central bank to hike interest rates. The new trade surplus is also likely to add to the criticism of China’s exchange rate policy.

US stocks finished narrowly mixed on Thursday in lethargic trading as an early jump on a benign jobless claims data faded away on a stronger U.S. dollar and later on news that Democrats in the House voted against considering the tax cut extensions that President Obama negotiated with Republicans.

The euro advanced 0.08 percent to 1.3248 against the dollar and the yen gained 0.22 percent against the greenback.

Crude oil futures advanced 0.58 percent to $88.88/barrel and gold futures declined 0.27 percent.

European stock markets are currently trading higher with FTSE 100 up by 0.35 points, DAX30 up by 41.81 points and CAC 40 up by 5.38 points.