On Thursday the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) returned from the Christmas break and pushed an impressive 1.9% higher to 5,597.2 points.
Will the benchmark index be able to build on this on Friday? Here are five things to watch:
ASX futures pointing lower.
Unfortunately, the ASX 200 looks set to give back much of yesterday’s gain after Wall Street tumbled lower overnight. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is expected to open the day 73 points or 1.3% lower on Friday. Late in the U.S. session the Dow Jones is down 2%, the S&P 500 is 2% lower, and the Nasdaq is off 2.5%.
Tech shares will be on watch.
Afterpay Touch Group Ltd (ASX: APT), Appen Ltd (ASX: APX), and WiseTech Global Ltd (ASX: WTC) shares all pushed over 5% higher on Thursday after U.S. tech stocks rallied higher. With those tech stocks now sliding lower on Wall Street, Afterpay Touch, Appen, and WiseTech Global could give back their gains.
Oil prices slide lower.
The Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) share price and the Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) share price were among the best performers on the market on Thursday after oil prices surged higher. These energy shares could come under pressure today after oil prices tumbled lower. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price fell 3% to US$44.83 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price dropped 3.6% to US$52.52 a barrel.
Shares going ex-dividend.
A good number of popular dividend shares are due to go ex-dividend this morning. These include the likes of Bunnings landlord BWP Trust (ASX: BWP), property developer Charter Hall Group (ASX: CHC), property group Goodman Group (ASX: GMG), self-storage giant National Storage REIT (ASX: NSR), property group Stockland Corporation Ltd (ASX: SGP), airport operator Sydney Airport Holdings Pty Ltd (ASX: SYD), and toll road giant Transurban Group (ASX: TCL).
Australian dollar at 70.2 U.S. cents.
Further weakness in the Australian dollar has left it on the verge of dropping through the 70 U.S. cents mark. At the time of writing the Aussie is hovering just above that mark at 70.2 U.S. cents after falling 0.6% over the last 24 hours. This could be good news for Australian companies generating meaningful revenues in the United States such as Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX: ALL) and Treasury Wine Estates Ltd (ASX: TWE).
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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 Sydney Airport Holdings Limited, Transurban Group, and Treasury Wine Estates Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of AFTERPAY T FPO, Appen Ltd, and WiseTech Global. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended National Storage REIT. 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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