5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Friday

A strong finish to the week is expected for the ASX 200 index.

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On Thursday, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) carved out the smallest of gains. The benchmark index rose slightly to 7,611.2 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 rise again

The Australian share market looks set to end the week in a positive fashion following a stunning night on Wall Street. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is expected to open 30 points or 0.4% higher this morning. In late trade on Wall Street, the Dow Jones is up 1.4%, the S&P 500 is up 2.2%, and the NASDAQ is up 3.1%.

Oil prices push higher

ASX 200 energy shares Beach Energy Ltd (ASX: BPT) and Karoon Energy Ltd (ASX: KAR) could have a good finish to the week after oil prices pushed higher overnight. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price is up 1% to US$78.65 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price is up 0.8% to US$83.73 a barrel. Signs of a tightening global crude market boosted prices.

Bapcor results

The Bapcor Ltd (ASX: BAP) share price will be on watch on Friday when the autoparts retailer releases its half-year results. Morgans said: "Market expecting a relatively weak result. Consensus expectations were set lower post BAP's 1Q24 downgrade and the recent CFO departure points to 'BTB' targets being at risk. Despite the market already expecting a relatively weak result, we think the core business outlook remains subdued and we would prefer to see the result to 'de-risk' any entry into the stock."

Gold price edges lower

ASX 200 gold shares Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX: EVN) and Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) could have a subdued session after the gold price edged lower overnight. According to CNBC, the spot gold price is down 0.1% to US$2,032.5 an ounce. Strong US economic data put pressure on the precious metal.

Qantas remains a buy

Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) shares are still a buy according to analysts at Goldman Sachs. In response to the release of the airline operator's half year results, the broker has retained its buy rating with an $8.05 price target. This implies over 50% upside from current levels. It said: "Earnings cuts, but another proof point on reset earnings capacity."

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 recommended Bapcor. 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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