What to watch on the ASX on Friday

On Thursday the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) gave back its early gains and ended the day with a 0.2% decline at 5,815.5 points amid concerns over rising tensions in Syria.

Will the market be able to bounce back and finish on a high today? Here are five things that could have a say in matters:

ASX futures are pointing to a positive day of trade.

The latest ASX futures indicate that the Australian share market will open 18 points or 0.3% higher on Friday. Investors have moved back into equities after tensions in Syria eased and U.S. corporate earnings surprised to the upside. This led to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising 1.2%, the S&P 500 climbing 0.8%, and the NASDAQ pushing 1% higher.

The Delta Air Lines result.

Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) and Air New Zealand Limited (ASX: AIZ) may be set for a positive day of trade after Delta Air Lines delivered a stronger than expected quarterly result overnight. This led to solid gains being seen across the global airline industry, which was given an additional boost from a slight fall in oil prices.

Nine loses the cricket rights.

The Nine Entertainment Co Holdings Ltd (ASX: NEC) share price will be on watch on Friday after reports indicated that Foxtel is on the verge of signing a $1 billion six-year deal with Cricket Australia for the cricket rights. I suspect that this was always the plan for Nine, which snapped up the tennis rights last month from under the noses of Seven West Media Ltd (ASX: SWM).

Wesfarmers has its eyes on embattled NZ builder.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) has its eyes on an investment in New Zealand-based construction and industrial materials Fletcher Building Limited (ASX: FBU). The report suggests that Wesfarmers may have recently bought a 3% to 4% stake in the company. The conglomerate declined to comment on the matter.

Economic data drops.

This morning will see the release of the RBA Financial Stability Review. The review, which is a quarterly health check on the Australian economy, covers key topics including the assessment of lending standards, changes in household leverage, and Australian house prices. Outside Australia, all eyes will be on China when it releases its trade balance for March.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Wesfarmers Limited. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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