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5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Friday

On Thursday the S&P/ASX 200 index bounced back from a weak start to finish the day an impressive 0.65% higher at 6,176.1 points.

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

ASX 200 expected to edge higher.

The Australian share market looks set to have a positive day of trade. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is expected to open 6 points or 0.1% higher this morning. This follows a positive night on Wall Street which late in the session sees the Dow Jones, S&P 500, and Nasdaq all up 0.3%.

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 has dropped 0.1% to US$59.36 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price has edged ever so slightly higher to US$67.86 a barrel. Prices remained stable despite a tweet by President Trump urging OPEC to increase production.

QANTM IP hits back at IPH.

On Thursday the ACCC said it would not oppose the proposed IPH Ltd (ASX: IPH) acquisition of fellow intellectual property services company Xenith IP Group Ltd (ASX: XIP). Last night QANTM Intellectual Property Ltd (ASX: QIP) was quick to hit back to reiterate its belief that its QANTM-Xenith merger is better and represents compelling value.

NIB upgraded.

The NIB Holdings Limited (ASX: NHF) share price could be on the move on Friday after Goldman Sachs upgraded its shares to neutral from sell. After a pullback in its share price in March, Goldman believes NIB’s valuation now better reflects the risks it faces over the near term. The broker has a price target of $5.48 on its shares.

Dividends being paid.

A number of blue chip shares are paying their latest dividends today. These include regional bank Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Ltd (ASX: BEN), energy retailer Origin Energy Ltd (ASX: ORG), private hospital operator Ramsay Health Care Limited (ASX: RHC), and telco giant Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS).

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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 IPH Ltd and Telstra Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended NIB Holdings Limited and Ramsay Health Care 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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