On Thursday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) fought hard to record the smallest of gains. The benchmark index rose slightly to 7,094.9 points.
Will the market be able to build on this on Friday? Here are five things to watch:
ASX 200 expected to rise
The Australian share market looks set to end the week on a solid note. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is expected to open the day 54 points or 0.75% this morning. This follows a reasonably positive night on Wall Street, which saw the Dow Jones rise 0.4%, the S&P 500 climb 0.1%, and the Nasdaq trade flat.
Oil prices rise
Energy producers including Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) could finish the week on a positive note after oil prices pushed higher. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price is up 0.9% to US$66.81 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price is up 0.7% to US$69.36 a barrel. Solid US economic data gave prices a lift.
Afterpay on watch
The Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) share price will be on watch today after its rival Klarna announced a major investment. According to CNBC, the buy now pay later provider is expected to secure new funding valuing it at US$40 billion. SoftBank is believed to be backing the deal. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) owns a stake in the company.
Link receives offer for PEXA
The Link Administration Holdings Ltd (ASX: LNK) share price could be on the move on Friday. This follows news that the company has received an offer for its PEXA business. Private equity firm KKR has tabled an offer that values PEXA at $3 billion on a 100% basis. Link owns 44.18% of the property settlement business. The Link Board is considering the proposal.
Gold price softens
Gold miners Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASX: NCM) and St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM) will be on watch today after the gold price softened. According to CNBC, the spot gold price is down 0.2% to US$1,897.50 an ounce. Strong economic data out of the United States weighed on demand for the safe haven asset.