5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Friday

It looks set to be a tough finish to the week for Aussie investors.

A man holds his head in his hands, despairing at the bad result he's reading on his computer.

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On Thursday, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) had a poor session and dropped into the red. The benchmark index fell 0.45% to 7,811.8 points.

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 poised to sink

The Australian share market looks set to end the week deep in the red following a poor session on Wall Street. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is expected to open 89 points or 1.1% lower this morning. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones was down 1.5%, the S&P 500 fell 0.75%, and the NASDAQ was 0.4% lower.

Oil prices fall

ASX 200 energy shares such as Beach Energy Ltd (ASX: BPT) and Karoon Energy Ltd (ASX: KAR) could have a tough finish to the week after oil prices dropped again overnight. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price is down 1% to US$76.81 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price is down 0.7% to US$81.30 a barrel. This was the fourth session in a row of declines for oil prices.

Buy Xero shares

The Xero Ltd (ASX: XRO) share price surged higher on Thursday following the release of the cloud accounting platform provider's full year results. Despite its strong gain, Goldman Sachs believes that Xero shares are still great value. According to a note, the broker has reiterated its conviction buy rating with an improved price target of $164.00. This implies almost 22% upside for investors over the next 12 months. It commented: "Our 12m TP is +5% to A$164, reflecting earnings and roll-forward to FY26E base-year (multiple reduced to 33X, from 40X). Stay Buy rated (on CL)."

Gold price sinks

ASX 200 gold shares Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX: EVN) and Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) could have a difficult finish to the week after the gold price sank overnight. According to CNBC, the spot gold price is down 2.4% to US$2,335.3 an ounce. This was driven by hawkish comments out of the US Federal Reserve.

Nufarm shares rated hold

Nufarm Ltd (ASX: NUF) shares remain close to being fully valued despite a heavy decline on Thursday. In response to the agricultural chemicals company's half year results, Bell Potter has retained its hold rating and cut its price target down to $5.10 (from $6.35). The broker said: "We see FY24e as an abnormally difficult year and believe the beyond yield earnings story is compelling. However, we struggle to see the catalyst to drive a ~20% upward movement in ag-chem prices by FY26e (which is required to achieve group revenue targets), in the context of 9yr highs of exports exChina, while pricing remains subdued."

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has positions in Xero. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended Goldman Sachs Group and Xero. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in and has recommended Xero. 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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