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5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Friday

On Thursday the S&P/ASX 200 index continued its strong run and broke through the 7,000 mark for the first time. The benchmark index ended the day a sizeable 0.7% higher at 7,041.8 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.   

The S&P/ASX 200 index looks set to end the week on a positive note. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is expected to rise 26 points or 0.4% at the open. This follows a very positive night of trade on Wall Street which in late trade sees the Dow Jones up 0.7%, the S&P 500 up 0.65%, and the Nasdaq index trading 0.8% higher.

Oil prices rise.

It looks set to be a positive end to the week for energy shares such as Beach Energy Ltd (ASX: BPT) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL). Overnight oil prices have surged higher due to the trade deal between the U.S. and China. Traders are optimistic this deal will support demand for oil. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price is up 1.1% to US$58.44 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price has risen 0.9% to US$64.59 a barrel.

Rio Tinto update.

All eyes will be on the Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) share price on Friday when it hands in its fourth quarter update. The mining giant’s guidance is for 2019 Pilbara shipments of between 320 and 330 million tonnes (100% basis), subject to weather. Its iron ore unit cost guidance in 2019 is in the range of US$14 to US$15 per tonne.

Gold price jumps.

Gold miners Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) and Resolute Mining Limited (ASX: RSG) will be on watch on Friday after gold prices softened. Strong U.S. economic data and the trade deal weighed heavily on safe haven assets. According to CNBC, the spot gold price fell 0.15% to US$1,551.90 an ounce.

Whitehaven Coal given sell rating.

The Whitehaven Coal Ltd (ASX: WHC) share price could be heading lower according to one leading broker. Following the release of a “soft” second quarter update, Goldman Sachs has retained its sell rating and lifted its price target slightly on this coal miner’s shares to $2.40. It notes that the miner will require a “flawless” second half to meet its guidance.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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.