5 things to watch on the ASX on Monday

On Friday the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) had a strong finish to the week and rose 0.9% to close at a decade-high of 6,272.3 points.

Will the local market be able to start the week as it finished? Here are five things that could shape today’s trade:

ASX futures are pointing higher.

The Australian share market is expected to open the week on a positive note. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX is poised to open the day 0.4% or 26 points higher following a strong end to the week on Wall Street. The Dow Jones finished the week with a 0.4% gain, the S&P 500 was up 0.85%, and the Nasdaq rose 1.3%. A strong U.S. jobs report was the catalyst for this rise.

Tech shares rising.

One of the major contributors to the strong gains being seen on Wall Street on Friday was the tech sector. This could mean that local tech stars including Appen Ltd (ASX: APX) and Altium Limited (ASX: ALU) have a strong start to the trading week.

Trade wars gather pace.

That strong jobs report managed to offset any concerns about the trade wars that have just kicked off. On Friday President Trump slapped US$34 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese imports. As you might expect, it didn’t take long for China to retaliate. According to the Financial Times, the Chinese government is targeting US farm and energy exports, including soya beans and crude oil.

Oil prices mixed.

Energy shares such as Beach Energy Ltd (ASX: BPT) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) will be on watch after oil prices had a mixed finish to the week. According to Bloomberg, WTI crude oil closed the week with a 1.2% gain to US$73.80 a barrel, whereas Brent crude oil dropped 0.4% to US$77.11 a barrel. Short covering is believed to have led to the rise in the WTI crude oil price.

BP bids for BHP assets.

According to the AFR, energy giant BP is leading the race to acquire the U.S. onshore shale oil and gas assets of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP). BP has reportedly tabled an offer above US$10 billion (A$13.5 billion) for the assets and a deal is expected to be reached within the next few weeks.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Altium and Appen Ltd. 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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