Australian shares are set to be little changed at the open on Friday, as Wall Street ended positive after suffering steep losses earlier in the session.

All three of the major US indexes turned positive late in Thursday's session.

The initial losses came after a measure of US consumer confidence posted its sharpest decline in more than three years in December.

The local share price index futures was flat at a 44.2-point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index close. The benchmark climbed 1.9 percent on Thursday.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index edged lower in early trade.

Copyright Reuters, 2018