5 things to watch on the ASX on Friday

On Thursday the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) snapped its losing streak and climbed 0.3% to 6,215.4 points.

Will the market be able to build on this gain and finish the week on a high on Friday? Here are five things that could shape the day ahead:

ASX futures are pointing higher.

The Australian share market is expected to open the day higher on Friday. According to the latest SPI futures, the local market is poised to open 0.2% or 13 points higher this morning. This follows a positive night of trade on Wall Street which saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average rise 0.4%, the S&P 500 climb 0.6%, and the NASDAQ surge 0.8% higher.

Australian dollar sinks lower.

The Australian dollar continued its decline against the U.S. dollar overnight. It fell as low as 73.5 U.S. cents as currency traders become increasingly bearish on the local currency. Rising rates in the United States and yield spreads have weighed heavily on the Aussie. This could be good news for U.S. dollar earners such as Integrated Research Limited (ASX: IRI) and Treasury Wine Estates Ltd (ASX: TWE).

Oil prices have stabilised.

Oil prices have held firm overnight. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price has risen 0.7% to US$73.25 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price has edged slightly higher to US$77.65 a barrel. Oil prices have been on the rise this week amid growing demand and supply disruptions in Canada and Libya.

Virtus Health makes a major acquisition.

Fertility treatment company Virtus Health Ltd (ASX: VRT) will be on watch on Friday after it announced a major acquisition after the market closed yesterday. Virtus has acquired Copenhagen-based Trianglen Fertility Clinic for a maximum consideration of up to DKK202million (A$43 million). This EPS accretive acquisition lifts the company’s share of the Danish market to 15%.

Amazon acquires online pharmacy.

Pharmacy chain operators and distributors Australian Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (ASX: API) and Sigma Healthcare Ltd (ASX: SIG) will be worth keeping an eye on Friday after retail behemoth Amazon acquired online pharmacy startup PillPack for a fee believed to be around US$1 billion. U.S. pharmacy shares tanked on the news.

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John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. 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 Amazon. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Amazon, Integrated Research Limited, Treasury Wine Estates Limited, and Virtus Health 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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