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5 things to watch on the ASX on Friday

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On Thursday the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) dropped lower once again as political turmoil weighed heavily on investor sentiment. This led to the index falling 0.3% to 6,244.4 points.

Will the index be able to bounce back and finish the week on a high? Here are five things to watch:

ASX futures pointing higher.

Despite the ongoing saga in Canberra the Australian share market is expected to open the day higher. According to the latest SPI futures, the market is poised to open 0.3% or 19 points higher on Friday. This follows a disappointing night of trade on Wall Street which saw the Dow Jones fall 0.3%, the S&P 500 drop 0.2%, and the Nasdaq edge 0.1% lower. U.S. shares fell on the back of trade war concerns and legal worries around President Trump.

Shares going ex-dividend.

A few popular dividend shares are due to trade ex-dividend this morning. These include health and safety products company Ansell Limited (ASX: ANN), investment company Argo Investments Limited (ASX: ARG) and fintech company Class Ltd (ASX: CL1). Ansell’s 33.8 cents per share dividend will be then paid to eligible shareholders on September 13.

Costa Group results.

The Costa Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: CGC) share price will be on watch on Friday after the release of its highly anticipated full year results. The horticulture company posted a statutory NPAT of $115.2 million in FY 2018. This appears to be just ahead of market expectations. Management has provided guidance of low double digit earnings growth in FY 2019.

Medibank results.

The shares of private health insurer Medibank Private Ltd (ASX: MPL) could come under pressure today after it reported a $445.1 million group net profit after tax. This was a 1% decline on the prior corresponding period and appears to be a touch short of the market’s expectations.

Other results releases.

As well as Costa and Medibank, results are scheduled to be released by Brambles Limited ASX: BXB) veterinary company National Veterinary Care Ltd (ASX: NVL), gold miner Resolute Mining Limited (ASX: RSG) and casino and resort operator Star Entertainment Group Ltd (ASX: SGR).

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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 and has recommended COSTA GRP FPO. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Class Limited and NATVETCARE FPO. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Ansell 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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