5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Friday

On Thursday the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) pushed higher for a second day in a row, finishing it up 0.3% at 6,169 points.

Will the local market be able to build on this on Friday? Here are five things to watch:

ASX futures pointing higher.

According to the latest SPI futures, the Australian share market is set to open day higher on Friday. The latest futures contracts are pointing to a gain of 0.15% or 9 points at the open. This follows a disappointing night of trade on Wall Street which late in the session sees the Dow Jones down 0.1%, the S&P 500 down 0.1%, and the Nasdaq slightly lower.

Oil prices mixed.

Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH) and Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) shares will be on watch on Friday after a mixed night of trade for oil prices. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price rose 0.15% to US$57.02 a barrel, but the Brent crude oil price tumbled a sizeable 0.65% to US$65.96 a barrel.

Ramsay rated as a sell.

The Ramsay Health Care Limited (ASX: RHC) share price climbed 6% on Thursday following the release of its half year results. One broker that wasn’t overly impressed with what it saw was Goldman Sachs. According to a note out of the broker, its analysts have retained their sell rating but lifted the price target on its shares slightly to $52.00. Goldman has concerns over incremental pricing/case-mix headwinds, which it expects to persist and develop further from here.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank goes ex-dividend.

The Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Ltd (ASX: BEN) share price is expected to trade around 3.5% lower on Friday after going ex-dividend for the regional bank’s fully franked interim dividend of 35 cents per share. This dividend will then be paid to eligible Bendigo and Adelaide Bank shareholders in four weeks on March 28.

Other shares going ex-dividend.

A number of other shares are trading ex-dividend this morning and are likely to slide into the red. These include waste management company Bingo Industries Ltd (ASX: BIN), building products company Boral Limited (ASX: BLD), steel producer BlueScope Steel Limited (ASX: BSL), and fuel retailer Caltex Australia Limited (ASX: CTX).

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