At 0700 AEST on Friday, the share price futures index was down nine points, or 0.15 per cent, at 5,856.
In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq all closed lower, down between 0.11 and 0.22 per cent.
Investors appeared risk-averse following worse-than-expected sales drops at Macy’s and Kohl’s which stirred fears that consumers are not spending enough to drive strong economic growth.
President Donald Trumps sudden firing of FBI director James Comey was also still helping to drive risk averse sentiment.
Locally, no major economic or equities news is expected on Friday. The Australian market on Thursday ended the day steady after early gains by the big four banks evaporated in afternoon trade, and miners fall on weaker iron ore futures.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 2.9 points, or 0.05 per cent, at 5,878.3 points.
The broader All Ordinaries index was up 0.9 points, or 0.02 per cent, at 5,912 points.
Meanwhile, the Australian dollar is higher against its US counterpart. The local currency was trading at 73.78 US cents at 0700 AEST on Friday, from 73.65 on Thursday.
CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 0700 AEST
One Australian dollar buys:
* 73.78 US cents, from 73.65 on Thursday
* 84.01 Japanese yen, from 84.05 yen
* 67.95 euro cents, from 67.72 cents
* 57.27 British pence, from 56.95 pence
* 107.69 New Zealand cents, from 107.45 NZ cents
(*Currency closes taken at 1700 AEST previous local session)