City sources predict the FTSE 100 will open 25 points higher than yesterday's close of 6,691.34 ahead of today's US non-farm payroll figure.
The consensus of analysts expect the Bureau of Labor Statistics data to reveal a 195,000 increase in non-farm payrolls in December, down slightly from the 203,000 gain the month before. The unemployment rate is estimated to remain at 7%.
However, Market Strategist Ishaq Siddiqi from ETX Capital said: "We need to see a figure above 200k for markets to feel comfortable that the Fed made the right call. If however, the reading is disappointingly poor, many will start to scrutinise the Fed's actions and would look to [incoming Chair Janet] Yellen to beef up forward guidance if the Fed still wants to maintain its credibility."
The US Labour Department revealed on Thursday that initial weekly jobless claims dropped by 15,000 to 330,000 from an upwardly revised 345,000 in the month before.
Claims declined by more than expected with economists having pencilled in a figure of around 335,000. However, analysts warned that data could have been distorted by the holidays, which should be kept in mind ahead of Friday's monthly labour-market figures.
The anticipation made for turbulent trading in the US last night, with stocks finishing broadly flat.
Back on this side of the Pond, today will see the release of industrial and manufacturing data. Industrial output may have risen by 2.8% year-on-year in November from an increase of 3.2% in October, according to forecasts.
Manufacturing output is tipped to jump by 3.2% in November, up from a 2.7% climb the month before.
In this morning's company news, JD Sports Fashion said it is on track to deliver annual profit in line with market expectations following a strong Christmas trading period. The UK retailer's like-for-like sales for the group's core Fascia stores in the 48 weeks to January 4th 2014 are "marginally ahead" of the previous year, according to a trading update on Friday.
Digital rights business Perform Group's Chief Financial Officer, David Surtees, will step down from his role at the end of January. The search for a successor for Surtees, who joined the company in 2008, was underway, Perform said. The group's Chairman, Paul Walker, thanked Surtees for his "significant" contribution over the past six years and wished him well in the future.
Nichols, the soft drinks company behind Vimto, Sunkist and Panda, said it finished 2013 strongly with sales growth gaining momentum in the second half. The company, which has a market capitalisation of around £440m, said that sales grew at a year-on-year rate of 4% in the second half, pushing full-year sales to £109.9m, up 2% on 2012.
Residential property group Grainger has disposed of a portfolio of UK properties and won a management contract over the homes. The properties, which it acquired via its retirement equity release scheme, have been sold for £87.6m to property investor Clifden Holdings.