5 things to watch on the ASX on Friday

On Thursday the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) had a solid day of trade and rose almost 0.5% to 6,011.9 points.

Will the local market be able to build on this gain today? Here are five things that could shape today’s trade:

ASX futures are pointing lower.

According to the latest SPI futures, the Australian share market is expected to open the day 0.1% or 7 points lower on Friday. This wouldn’t be a bad result for the local market after heavy declines on Wall Street overnight. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1%, the S&P 500 was off 0.7%, and the Nasdaq finished the day 0.3% lower.

Trade wars spook markets.

European and U.S. markets fell after the Trump Administration announced plans to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from the European Union, Canada, and Mexico. This has sparked fears that it could cause a trade war that stifles global economic growth. This could be a positive for steel producer BlueScope Steel Limited (ASX: BSL).

MYOB shares could be on the rise today.

On Thursday the MYOB Group Ltd (ASX: MYO) share price sank 8% lower after it revealed that it had given up on trying to acquire Reckon Limited (ASX: RKN) and will focus on Plan B for organic growth instead. Goldman Sachs appears to think this is an opportunity for investors and has reiterated its buy rating and $4.05 price target.

Oil prices were mixed.

According to Bloomberg, oil prices were reasonably mixed overnight. The WTI crude oil price fell 1.6% to US$67.09 a barrel and Brent crude oil rose 0.1% to US$77.59 a barrel. With reports revealing that U.S. producers are struggling to keep up with demand, the downside from here may be limited. This could be good news for the likes of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL).

House prices data release.

There’s been a lot of talk of falling house prices in Australia recently. This will be put to the test later today when CoreLogic releases its house prices data for the month of May. Falling house prices are expected to weigh on consumer sentiment, which could impact retailers like JB Hi-Fi Limited (ASX: JBH) and Harvey Norman Holdings Limited (ASX: HVN).


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