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On Thursday, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) was on form and charged higher again. The benchmark index rose 0.5% to 7,474.4 points.
Will the market be able to build on this on Friday? Here are five things to watch:
ASX 200 expected to fall
The Australian share market looks set to end the week in a disappointing fashion. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is expected to open the day 18 points or 0.25% lower this morning. This follows a poor night of trade on Wall Street, which late on sees the Dow Jones trading flat, the S&P 500 down 0.8%, and the Nasdaq down 1.6%.
The Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) share price will be on watch after it released an update after the market close on Thursday. According to the release, the airline operator is cutting its capacity during the third quarter in response to rising Omicron cases. Qantas will slash its domestic capacity to 70% of pre-COVID levels and international capacity to 20% of pre-COVID levels.
Oil prices fall
Energy producers including Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) could end the week in the red after oil prices dropped. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price is down 0.5% to US$82.14 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price is down 0.3% to US$84.40 a barrel. A mixed demand outlook weighed on prices.
Tech shares on watch
The Australian tech sector looks set to end the week deep in the red, which could be bad news for shares such as Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) and Appen Ltd (ASX: APX). This follows a poor night of trade on Wall Street, which saw the tech rebound run out of steam and the Nasdaq index fall 1.6%. The Block share price is down almost 5% in late trade.
Gold price falls
Gold miners Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASX: NCM) and St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM) could have a subdued finish to the week after the gold price dropped. According to CNBC, the spot gold price is down 0.4% to US$1,820.60 an ounce. The gold price fell after yields edged higher and traders started to price in a US Fed rate hike in the near future.
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