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5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Friday

On Thursday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) bounced back from a morning decline and continued its positive run. The benchmark index rose 0.25% to 6,547.2 points.

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

ASX 200 expected to push higher.

The Australian share market could end the week on a positive note. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is expected to push 17 points or 0.25% higher at the open. In late trade on Wall Street, the Dow Jones is down 0.1%, the S&P 500 has risen 0.1%, and the Nasdaq is pushing a decent 0.6% higher.

Oxford University-Astra Zeneca vaccine update.

The coronavirus vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca, AZD1222, is reportedly safe and triggers a similar immune response among all adults. This is according to the preliminary findings of a peer-reviewed phase two trial. According to CNBC, the promising early-stage results were published Thursday in The Lancet, which is one of the world’s top medical journals. CSL Limited (ASX:CSL) has signed an agreement to manufacture this vaccine if successful.

Oil prices soften.

It could be a tough day for energy shares such as Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH) and Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) after oil prices softened. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price is down 0.4% to US$41.65 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price is down 0.5% to US$44.10 a barrel. Oil prices came under pressure after a surge in COVID-19 cases raised concerns about oil demand.

Annual general meetings.

A number of companies are holding their annual general meetings on Thursday and could provide updates at their events. This includes footwear retailer Accent Group Ltd (ASX: AX1), global property and infrastructure company Lendlease Group (ASX: LLC), and fund manager Platinum Asset Management Ltd (ASX: PTM).

Gold price drops lower again.

Gold miners including Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX: EVN) and Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) could come under pressure today after the gold price continued to soften. According to CNBC, the spot gold price is down 0.6% to US$1,862.60 an ounce. A stronger US dollar weighted on the precious metal.

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James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of CSL Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Accent Group. 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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