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5 things to watch on the ASX on Friday

On Thursday the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) finished the day in the red for the third time this week with a 0.2% decline to 6,181.2 points.

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

ASX futures pointing higher.

According to the latest SPI futures, the Australian share market is expected to open the day 28 points or 0.45% higher on Friday. This follows a positive night of trade on Wall Street which saw the Dow Jones rise 0.2%, the S&P 500 climb 0.3%, and the Nasdaq storm 0.65% higher.

Westpac profits to be hit by provisions.

Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) shares will be on watch today after a late announcement advising of provisions for customer payments and related costs to be incurred in its upcoming results. According to the release, the banking giant’s full year results will be reduced by an estimated $235 million following further work on addressing customer issues and from provisions related to recent litigation.

Nufarm shortfall.

The brokers for the Nufarm Limited (ASX: NUF) entitlement offer, Macquarie Capital and UBS, have been busy trying to find buyers for a $75 million shortfall. According to the AFR, the brokers have been contacting funds to buy the shares left over from the institutional portion of the crop protection company’s entitlement offer.

Galaxy to acquire Tawana?

The Galaxy Resources Limited (ASX: GXY) share price will be on watch today after the AFR suggested that it could be interested in acquiring Tawana Resources N.L. (ASX: TAW). The lithium miner is believed to be looking for assets closer to home instead of developing its Sal de Vida asset in Argentina following the decision of the Argentine government to introduce an export tax.

Oil prices higher.

High-flying energy shares Beach Energy Ltd (ASX: BPT) and Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) could be set for another positive day of trade after oil prices rose again. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price rose 0.9% to US$72.19 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price climbed 0.4% higher to US$81.68 a barrel.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of Galaxy Resources Limited and Westpac Banking. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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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