5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Friday

The ASX 200 looks set for a subdued finish to the week.

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On Thursday, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) fought hard but fell just short of positive territory. The benchmark index edged 5.1 points lower to 7,173.3.

Will the market be able to bounce back from this on Friday and end the week on a high? Here are five things to watch:

ASX 200 expected to edge lower

The Australian share market looks set to end the week in the red despite a strong session on Wall Street. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is expected to open 13 points or 0.2% lower this morning. In late trade on Wall Street, the Dow Jones is up 0.3%, the S&P 500 is up 0.9%, and the NASDAQ is up 1.4%.

Oil prices mixed

ASX 200 energy shares Beach Energy Ltd (ASX: BPT) and Karoon Energy Ltd (ASX: KAR) could have a subdued finish to the week after a mixed night for oil prices. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price is up 0.3% to US$69.56 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price is down slightly to US$74.26 a barrel. Global economic growth concerns continue to weigh on sentiment.

Santos on watch

Fellow energy share Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) will be on watch after the company confirmed media speculation that it could be involved in a mega merger deal with one of its larger rivals. However, talks are ongoing and the company warned that there's no guarantee that a deal will be reached. Concurrently, Santos is assessing a range of alternative structural options with a view to unlocking value.

Gold price edges lower

ASX 200 gold shares Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX: EVN) and Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) will be on watch after the gold price edged lower overnight. According to CNBC, the spot gold price is down slightly to US$2,047.1 an ounce. Traders appear nervous ahead of the release of some key US economic data.

Buy NIB shares

NIB Holdings Limited (ASX: NHF) shares could be in the buy zone after pulling back on NDIS uncertainty. This morning, the broker has retained its buy rating and $8.40 price target on the private health insurer's shares. While Goldman acknowledges that there is "uncertainty for plan managers under reforms proposed," it highlights that NDIS-related income is only a small portion of NIB's overall earnings. Though, it concedes that it did spend $117.4 million on its NDIS market entry in FY 2023.

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended Goldman Sachs Group. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in and has recommended NIB Holdings. 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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