5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Friday

Another busy day is expected for Aussie investors on Friday.

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On Thursday, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) was able to shake off recent volatility and push higher. The benchmark index rose 0.8% to 7,605.7 points.

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

ASX 200 expected to jump again

The Australian share market looks set to end the week strongly following a positive night on Wall Street. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is expected to open 70 points or 0.9% higher this morning. In late trade on Wall Street, the Dow Jones is up 0.7%, the S&P 500 is up 0.5%, and the NASDAQ is up 0.15%.

Oil prices storm higher

ASX 200 energy shares including Beach Energy Ltd (ASX: BPT) and Karoon Energy Ltd (ASX: KAR) could have a great finish to the week after oil prices stormed higher overnight. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price is up 1.8% to US$78.00 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price is up 1.5% to US$82.82 a barrel. A weaker US dollar boosted prices.

Insurance giants results

Two of the largest insurance companies on the ASX 200 will be releasing their results today. Insurance Australia Group Ltd (ASX: IAG) and QBE Insurance Group Ltd (ASX: QBE) are both expected to deliver strong results thanks to favourable trading conditions and rising premiums. This could mean bumper dividends for shareholders.

Gold price rises

ASX 200 gold shares Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX: EVN) and Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) could have a good session after the gold price pushed higher overnight. According to CNBC, the spot gold price is up 0.6% to US$2,016.7 an ounce. This was driven by a softer US dollar.

Telstra remains a buy

Telstra Group Ltd (ASX: TLS) shares are still a buy according to analysts at Goldman Sachs. In response to the release of the telco giant's half year results, the broker has retained its buy rating with a trimmed price target of $4.55. It said: "NAS challenges overshadow a solid core and drive -2% to -3% EBITDA downgrades, but we believe issues are cyclical."

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 Telstra Group. 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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