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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) fought back from heavy early declines to finish the day 0.2% lower at 5,657.7 points.

Will the ASX 200 be able to bounce back and finish the week on a positive note on Friday? Here are five things to watch:

ASX futures pointing lower.

According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is expected to open the day 12 points or 0.2% lower on Friday after a disappointing night of trade on international markets. London’s FTSE 100 fell 3.15% and in late trade on Wall Street the Dow Jones is down 1.4%, the S&P 500 is 1.3% lower, and the Nasdaq is 0.55% lower. The Dow Jones was down as much as 3% at one stage.

Oil prices slide lower.

Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH) and Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) shares will be on watch today after oil prices dropped lower. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price fell 2.6% to US$51.51 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price dropped 2.3% to US$60.16 a barrel. Oil prices gave back some recent gains after OPEC talks ended without a deal on oil cuts due to Russia holding back.

Inghams Group capital return approved.

On Thursday the Inghams Group Ltd (ASX: ING) share price hit a 52-week high of $4.57. The poultry producer’s shares could make a new high today after its shareholders approved a return of capital of approximately $125 Million ($0.33 per ordinary share). In addition to this, the Inghams board has approved the implementation of an on-market buyback of up to $50 million of its shares. This will commence after the release of its half year results in February.

Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Co. AGM

The Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Co. Ltd (ASX: SOL) share price will be on watch on Friday when it holds its annual general meeting in Sydney. The investment company’s shares have been on fire over the last few months, so shareholders will no doubt be hoping for a trading update to support this strong share price rise.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp shares go ex-dividend.

The Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp Ltd (ASX: FPH) share price is likely to trade lower on Friday after its shares go ex-dividend for its 9 cents per share interim dividend. This dividend will be paid to shareholders on December 21. Elsewhere, eligible Australian Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (ASX: API) and Orica Ltd (ASX: ORI) shareholders will be paid their latest dividends today.

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company 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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