The euro also weakened to an 11-year low against the dollar, and euro-area sovereign bond prices ticked up.
General Electric fell in early New York trading after the conglomerate posted fourth-quarter revenue just shy of estimates.
The day also brings several key data releases. Existing home sales at 10:00 a.m. ET are expected to push back just above 5 million, having dipped below this level for the first time in six months in November. The Conference Board's Leading Index for December is also due at 10:00 a.m. ET.
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In other news, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah died early on Friday and his brother Salman has been named king. Investors will be keeping a close eye on the oil-exporting nation and what the succession means for crest-fallen commodity.
Heads of state and government join global business leaders for the third day of the World Economic Forum in the Swiss mountain resort of Davos. George Soros, U.K. Finance Minister George Osborne and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble are due to take part in a CNBC discussion on the future of Europe at 7 a.m. ET.