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5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Friday

On Thursday the S&P/ASX 200 index returned to form and recorded a very strong gain. The benchmark index rose 0.8% to 6,874.2 points.

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

ASX 200 expected to rise.   

It looks set to be a solid finish to the week for the S&P/ASX 200 index. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is poised to rise 15 points or 0.2% at the open. This follows a positive night of trade on Wall Street which in late trade sees the Dow Jones up 0.7%, the S&P 500 0.6% higher, and the Nasdaq index up 0.8%.

Oil prices flat.

The likes of Beach Energy Ltd (ASX: BPT) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) will be on watch on Friday after a subdued night of trade for oil prices. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price is flat at US$59.65 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price is flat at US$65.41 a barrel.

Gold price falls again.

The de-escalation of US-Iran tensions is weighing on the gold price again on Friday, which could be bad news for the shares of Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) and St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM). According to CNBC, softening demand for safe haven assets sent the spot gold price down a further 0.35% to US$1,554.50 an ounce.

Tech shares on watch.

Australian tech shares including Altium Limited (ASX: ALU) and Appen Ltd (ASX: APX) could be solid performers on Friday after their U.S. counterparts raced higher. Our locally listed tech shares tend to follow the lead of the technology-focused Nasdaq index, which is up 0.8% in late trade.

Suncorp rated as a buy.

The Suncorp Group Ltd (ASX: SUN) share price could be on the rise today after Goldman Sachs held firm with its buy rating following its bushfire update. After looking through its update, it saw no reason to amend its estimates. As such, it remains buy rated with a $14.55 price target. Including dividends, this represents a potential return of almost 16%.

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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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