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5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Friday

On Thursday the S&P/ASX 200 index fell heavily for a second day in a row. The benchmark index fell a disappointing 0.75% to 6,672.9 points.

Will the market be able to bounce back from this on Friday? Here are five things to watch:

ASX futures pointing higher.          

The S&P/ASX 200 index looks set to end its poor run and rebound on Friday. According to the latest SPI futures, the S&P/ASX 200 index is expected to rise 38 points or 0.6% at the open. This is despite it being a subdued night of trade on Wall Street. In late trade the Dow Jones is down 0.1%, the S&P 500 index is trading 0.1% lower, and the Nasdaq is down 0.15%.

Oil prices surges higher.

Australian energy shares such as Beach Energy Ltd (ASX: BPT) and Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH) could be on the rise today after oil prices surged higher again. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price rose 2.7% to US$58.52 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price climbed 2.4% to US$63.89 a barrel. The prospect of longer cuts by OPEC boosted prices.

Coles downgraded.

The Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL) share price will be on watch today after being downgraded by analysts at Goldman Sachs. The broker has downgraded the supermarket operator’s shares to a neutral rating from buy on valuation grounds. It has a $15.90 price target on its shares.

Gold price sinks.

It looks set to be a disappointing end to the week for gold miners Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX: EVN) and Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM). They could come under pressure today after the gold price tumbled lower. The price of the precious metal fell 0.65% to US$1,465.10 an ounce after trade deal hopes re-emerged.

Westpac rated as neutral

The Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price has fallen heavily this week due to its AUSTRAC bombshell. One broker that doesn’t believe this is a buying opportunity is Goldman Sachs. Its analysts have retained their neutral rating and cut their price target by 10% to $25.58. The broker notes that banks tend to underperform their peers materially after banking incidents of this magnitude.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of Westpac Banking. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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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