On Thursday the S&P/ASX 200 index was on form again and pushed a further 0.25% higher to 7,162.5 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 for a subdued finish to the week. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is poised open the day flat this morning. This follows a disappointing night on Wall Street which in late trade sees the Dow Jones down 0.5%, the S&P 500 trading 0.45% lower, and the Nasdaq down 0.7%.
Oil prices higher again.
Energy shares Beach Energy Ltd (ASX: BPT) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) could push higher today after oil prices rose again. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price climbed 0.9% to US$53.77 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price rose 0.3% to US$59.30 a barrel. This was driven by a smaller than expected inventory build-up.
Gold price hits 7-year high.
Gold miners Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) and Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited (ASX: SAR) could end the week on a positive note after the gold price climbed to a seven-year high. According to CNBC, the spot gold price is up 0.6% to US$1,621.50 an ounce. Increasing demand for safe haven assets is supporting the precious metal.
Mayne Pharma result.
The Mayne Pharma Group Ltd (ASX: MYX) share price could be on the move today when it releases it half year results. The pharmaceutical company is widely expected to release a very weak result due to tough trading conditions in the generic drugs market. Expectation are so low that earlier this week Mayne Pharma’s shares tumbled to a multi-year low.
Another company that is expected to report a soft result is poultry producer Inghams Group Ltd (ASX: ING). It is one of the most shorted shares on the Australian share market due to concerns that the droughts and bushfires have weighed heavily on its margins.