5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Friday

A2 Milk Company Ltd (ASX:A2M) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO) shares will be on watch on the ASX 200 on Friday…

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On Thursday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) was on form again and stormed higher. The benchmark index rose 1.15% to 6,756.7 points.

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

ASX 200 futures pointing lower.

The Australian share market looks set to end the week in a subdued manner. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is poised to open the day 2 points lower. This is despite US stocks climbing higher overnight. In late trade the Dow Jones is up 0.4%, the S&P 500 is up 0.5%, and the Nasdaq is up 0.7%

Rio Tinto names its new chief executive.

The Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) share price could be on the move today after announcing the appointment of its new chief executive. The mining giant is replacing outgoing Chief Executive, J-S Jacques, with its Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer, Jakob Stausholm. He will commence in the role on 1 January 2021. The company notes that since joining Rio Tinto in 2018, Mr Stausholm has played a leading role in its strong performance.

Oil prices push higher again.

Energy producers including Oil Search Ltd (ASX: OSH) and Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) could end the week on a high after oil prices pushed higher again. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price is up 0.85% to US$48.23 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price is 0.45% higher to US$51.31 a barrel. Oil prices climbed to nine-month highs thanks to positive progress with US stimulus.

A2 Milk to return

The A2 Milk Company Ltd (ASX: A2M) share price will be one to watch closely on Friday. On Thursday the infant formula and fresh milk company requested a trading halt after it became aware of “information” that could impact its guidance for FY 2021. No further details were revealed, but there is speculation that a downgrade is coming

Gold price jumps.

Gold miners such as Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASX: NCM) and Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited (ASX: SAR) could finish the week strongly after the gold price jumped overnight. According to CNBC, the spot gold price is up a sizeable 1.55% to US$1,887.90 an ounce. The precious metal was given a boost when the US made significant progress with its COVID stimulus.

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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 A2 Milk. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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