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5 things to watch on the ASX on Friday

On Thursday the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) had a solid day and made it five successive days of gains when it finished the day higher by 0.3% at 5,881 points.

Will the S&P/ASX 200 be able to continue this run and finish the week with a gain? Here are five things that could shape the day ahead.

SPI futures point to the ASX opening lower on Friday.

At the time of writing SPI futures are pointing to the ASX opening the day 10 points or 0.2% lower after declines on U.S. markets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the day down over 0.3%, the S&P 500 was off 0.6%, and the Nasdaq dropped by 0.8%. Weaker than expected quarterly earnings from a Taiwanese semiconductor company shook the tech industry and put pressure on the shares of Apple. There are concerns that we have now seen the peak of smartphone sales.

Miners could give back gains today.

Thursday’s star stocks Alumina Limited (ASX: AWC), Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO), and Western Areas Ltd (ASX: WSA) could be set for a day in the red after base metal prices sank lower during trade on the London Metals Exchange. Speculation that Russia may temporarily nationalise aluminium producer Rusal was the catalyst for the change of sentiment.

The Royal Commission continues.

Shares of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) and National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB) will be on watch as the Royal Commission continues. Revelations that the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) had been charging financial planner fees to customers long after they had died shocked the market on Thursday.

Dividends being paid.

On Friday there will be no less than 18 companies paying dividends to their respective shareholders. Eligible shareholders of companies including the likes of ARB Corporation Limited (ASX: ARB), QBE Insurance Group Ltd (ASX: QBE), and Seven Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: SVW) can look forward to receiving these pay outs in their nominated accounts today.

Gold miners could head lower.

Australia’s leading gold miners, such as Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) and Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST), could come under pressure today after the gold price slipped amid widening bond yields in the United States and a stronger US Dollar. The spot gold price is currently fetching US$1,345 an ounce, down over 0.2%.

Here are three top shares I would consider picking up during trade on Friday.

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James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and recommends Apple. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has the following options: long January 2020 $150 calls on Apple and short January 2020 $155 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of National Australia Bank Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Apple and ARB 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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