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5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Friday

On Tuesday the S&P/ASX 200 index pushed higher ahead of the Christmas break. The benchmark index rose 0.1% to 6,794.2 points.

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

ASX 200 expected to trade flat.     

The S&P/ASX 200 index looks set to come back from the Christmas break and trade flat on Friday. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is poised to open where it closed at on Tuesday at 6,794.2 points. This is despite it being a positive night of trade on Wall Street, which has seen the Dow Jones rise 0.2%, the S&P 500 climb 0.3%, and the Nasdaq index push 0.6% higher.

Tech shares could rise.

The likes of Altium Limited (ASX: ALU) and Appen Ltd (ASX: APX) could be on the rise today after their U.S. counterparts stormed higher. The technology-focused Nasdaq index has returned from the Christmas break with a 0.6% gain. Australia’s tech shares have a habit of following the Nasdaq’s lead.

Iron ore price slides.

Mining giants including BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) pushed higher during U.S. trade despite a 0.4% decline in the iron ore price. Investors may have been buying shares due to optimism that a US-China trade deal will be signed in the very near future.

Oil prices rise.

It could be a good day of trade for energy shares including Beach Energy Ltd (ASX: BPT) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) after oil prices pushed higher. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price climbed 0.9% to US$61.67 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price rose 1% to US$67.86 a barrel. Trade hopes and a decline in U.S. inventories boosted oil prices.

Gold price storms higher.

Gold miners such as Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) and St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM) could also be on the rise today after the spot gold price stormed higher. According to CNBC, the spot gold price is up a sizeable 0.7% to US$1,515 an ounce. Some traders appear to be betting against a trade deal being signed.

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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 Altium and Appen Ltd. 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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