The Motley Fool

5 things to watch on the ASX on Friday

On Thursday the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) continued its sensational run and climbed a further 0.8% to 6,098.3 points thanks partly to strong gains in the resources sector.

Will the local share market be able to build on this and end the week on a high? Here are five things that could impact today’s trade:

ASX futures are pointing higher.

At the time of writing SPI futures are pointing to the ASX opening 12 points or 0.2% higher on Friday. This potential move higher comes despite a weak night of trade on U.S. markets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the day mostly flat, the S&P 500 tumbled 0.2%, and the NASDAQ was down 0.2%.

RBA statement is due this morning.

Late this morning the Reserve Bank of Australia will release its statement on monetary policy. Investors will no doubt be examining the statement for any change in the central bank’s inflation forecasts and any indication of when it expects to raise rates. Most economists agree that there won’t be a rate rise in 2018.

Macquarie results.

Hot on the heels of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) and National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB), investment bank Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG) will release its full-year results this morning. According to Bloomberg, analysts are expecting Macquarie to achieve a net profit of $2,470 million and earnings per share of $7.17.

Oil prices have continued to climb.

The likes of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP), Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH), and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) could be poised to have another strong day of trade after oil prices continued to climb higher. According to Bloomberg, Brent crude oil rose 0.5% to US$73.71 a barrel and WTI crude oil pushed over 0.8% higher to US$68.50 a barrel.

Precious and industrial metals are on the rise.

In addition to oil prices, weakness in the U.S. dollar led to gains for gold, silver, copper, aluminium, and platinum overnight. This could mean shares such as Alumina Limited (ASX: AWC), Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST), and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) end the week on a high.

Breaking news: ASX companies set to raise dividends!

It's been a nail-biter of a reporting season here in the first half of 2018.

But the real action, in my opinion, is what companies are doing with dividends.

What does this mean for you? Well there is one stock I've found that could very well turn out to be THE best buy of 2018. And while there's no such thing as a 'sure thing' when it comes to investing - this ripper might come as close as I've ever seen.

Click here it's FREE!

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of National Australia Bank 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.

5 ASX Stocks for Building Wealth After 50

I just read that Warren Buffett, the world’s best investor, made over 99% of his massive fortune after his 50th birthday.

It just goes to show you… it’s never too late to start securing your financial future.

And Motley Fool Chief Investment Advisor Scott Phillips just released a brand-new report that reveals five of our favourite ASX stocks for building wealth after 50.

– Each company boasts strong growth prospects over the next 3 to 5 years…

– Most importantly each pays a generous dividend, fully franked.

Simply click here to find out how you can claim your FREE copy of “5 ASX Stocks for Building Wealth After 50.”

See the stocks now