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5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Friday

On Thursday the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) continued its positive run with a 0.5% rise to 5,928.2 points.

Will the market be able to build on this and finish the week on a high? Here are five things to watch:

ASX futures are pointing lower.

According to the latest SPI futures, the Australian share market is expected to open the day lower on Friday. Current futures contracts are pointing to a decline of 0.25% or 15 points at the open. This follows a disappointing night of trade on Wall Street which saw the Dow Jones slide 0.2%, the S&P 500 drop 0.4%, and the Nasdaq tumble 0.7% lower.

U.S. Federal Reserve keeps rates on hold.

Overnight the FOMC unanimously voted to keep the U.S. federal funds rate on hold in a range of 2% to 2.25%. This was widely expected by the market, with most economists expecting the next rise to be in December. Positive rhetoric from the central bank led to the yield on the benchmark 10-year note rising to 3.22%, which puts it within touching distance of its highest point since 2011. This could be bad news for bond proxies such as Transurban Group (ASX: TCL).

Oil prices continue to slide.

The shares of Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) will be on watch today after oil prices continued to slide lower. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price fell 1.7% to US$60.61 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price dropped 2% to US$70.65 a barrel. OPEC is rumoured to be planning action to support oil prices.

Telstra loses its CFO.

Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) has lost its chief financial officer, Robyn Denholm, to Tesla. According to a late announcement, Ms Denholm has advised Telstra that she intends to accept the role of Chairman with the Tesla board from November 13. Although she will replace Elon Musk as the electric car giant’s board chair next week, Ms Denholm will remain with Telstra until May of next year while serving a six-month notice period.

Shares going ex-dividend.

The shares of CSR Limited (ASX: CSR) and Janus Henderson Group PLC (ASX: JHG) are likely to trade lower on Friday after trading ex-dividend this morning. CSR’s 13 cents per share interim dividend will be paid to eligible shareholders on December 12, whereas Janus Henderson’s 50.5 cents per share dividend will be paid on November 30.

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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 Telstra Limited and Transurban Group. 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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