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5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Friday

The S&P/ASX 200 index was out of form on Thursday and tumbled notably lower. The benchmark index ended the day 0.6% lower at 7,088 points.

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

ASX 200 expected to rebound.      

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 20 points or 0.3% at the open. This follows a mixed night of trade on Wall Street. In late trade the Dow Jones is down 0.05%, the S&P 500 is up 0.1%, and the Nasdaq has climbed 0.2%.

Wesfarmers defers lithium project decision.

After the market close on Thursday, Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) announced that it has completed the definitive feasibility study (DFS) of the Mt Holland lithium project. Following the completion of the DFS, a final investment decision on the Western Australia-based project has been deferred. This is to enable additional actions to enhance the long-term value of the project. A decision is now expected to be made in the first quarter of 2021.

Oil prices sink again.

It looks set to be a disappointing end to the week for energy shares such as Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) after oil prices continued to tumble lower. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price is down a further 2.2% to US$55.51 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price has dropped 2% to US$61.96 a barrel. Oil prices have dropped to 11-week lows amid concerns over China’s slowing economic growth.

Gold price higher.

Gold miners Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) and St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM) could be on the rise today after the gold price pushed higher. According to CNBC, the spot gold price is up 0.4% to US$1,562.70 an ounce after coronavirus fears heightened and led to an increase in demand for safe haven assets.

Macquarie short selling investigation.

The Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG) share price could be on the move today after German authorities designated 60 current and former Macquarie staff as suspects in relation to historical short selling-related activities. One suspect is the company’s CEO Shemara Wikramanayake.

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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 Macquarie Group Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Wesfarmers 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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