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5 things to watch on the ASX on Friday

On Thursday the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) continued its impressive run and pushed higher again. The benchmark index finished the day almost 1% higher at 6,232.1 points.

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

ASX futures are pointing lower.

It looks as though the strong run could come to an end of Friday. According to the latest SPI futures, the local market is expected to open the day lower by 30 points of 0.5%. This follows a weak night of trade on Wall Street which saw all major indices sink lower. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.8%, the S&P 500 dropped 0.6%, and the NASDAQ was off 0.9%. European markets were also notably lower.

Trade war concerns are back.

Markets across the world dropped lower overnight amid concerns that we could be on the verge of a global trade war. Auto makers were amongst the worst performers during the session after German car manufacturer Daimler released a profit warning. The German giant has said that its earnings could be negatively impacted by the U.S.-China trade tensions.

Brent crude oil price falls.

The shares of energy producers such as Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) could come under pressure today after Brent crude oil prices fell overnight. According to Bloomberg, while WTI crude oil edged 0.1% higher to US$65.80 a barrel, Brent crude oil sank almost 2% to US$73.31 a barrel. Oil prices declined after reports emerged claiming that OPEC is nearing a deal to increase its production.

Ramsay Health Care shares will be on watch.

Private hospital operator Ramsay Health Care (ASX: RHC) saw its shares plunge 7.5% lower on Thursday. Its shares could be volatile today when brokers no doubt release their notes factoring in the company’s recent trading update and downgraded guidance.

APN Outdoor increases its offer for Adshel.

Sources have told the AFR that APN Outdoor Group Ltd (ASX: APO) is carrying on as normal after receiving an unsolicited takeover approach from JCDecaux and has increased its offer to buy the Adshel business owned by HT&E Ltd (ASX: HT1). The report suggests that an offer of “$230 million in cash and APN Outdoor scrip of $310 million” will be made today.

Those are the things to watch and here are the shares to buy today if you ask me. Do you own them yet?

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Ramsay Health Care 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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