The Australian market looks set to open higher following a mainly positive lead from Wall Street as investors weighed improved unemployment claims data ahead of a key monthly jobs report.
At 0645 AEDT on Friday, the March share price index futures contract was up 15 points at 5,456.
US initial jobless claims for the week ending March 1 fell more than expected, by 26,000 to a three-month low of 323,000.
Analysts project the US Labor Department's report will show job creation picked up to 163,000 in February after a mere 113,000 in January.
The unemployment rate is expected to hold steady at 6.6 per cent.
In local economic news on Friday, Reserve Bank of Australia governor Glenn Stevens is scheduled to appear before the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics.
The Australian Industry Group/Housing Industry Association's performance of construction index (PCI) for February is due out.
In equities news, BHP launches its Five Rivers Conservation Project and Chevron Australia managing director Roy Krzywosinski speaks at a function in Perth.
In Australia, the market on Thursday closed flat with investors remaining cautious despite easing concerns over potential conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 0.3 points, or 0.01 per cent, to 5,445.9 points.
The broader All Ordinaries index gained 2.4 points, or 0.04 per cent, at 5,459.7 points.