5 things to watch on the ASX on Thursday

On Wednesday the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) continued its impressive run and finished the day higher by 0.6% to 6,050.2 points.

Will the index be able to keep the run alive on Thursday? Here are five things that could shape the day ahead:

ASX futures are pointing higher.

At the time of writing SPI futures are pointing to the Australian share market opening the day 9 points of 0.1% higher despite sizeable declines on Wall Street. Trade war fears and the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting weighed heavily on U.S. markets and led to the Dow Jones sliding 0.7%, the S&P 500 falling 0.4%, and the NASDAQ dropping 0.4%.

U.S. Federal Reserve meeting.

Overnight the U.S. Federal Reserve elected to keep rates on hold at between 1.50% and 1.75%. However, the central bank’s statement appears to have many in the market expecting a rate hike at its next meeting in June. This could put pressure on bond proxies such as Transurban Group (ASX: TCL) and Vicinity Centres Re Ltd (ASX: VCX).

National Australia Bank results.

Hot on the heels of the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) half-year result on Tuesday, National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB) is due to release its own results this morning. All eyes will be on the bank’s interim dividend which has remained on hold at 99 cents per share for the last three years.

JB Hi-Fi shares will be on watch.

The shares of JB Hi-Fi Limited (ASX: JBH) will be on watch today after closing 9% lower at $23.28 on Wednesday following its surprise earnings downgrade. Shareholders will be hoping for a rebound today, but I suspect a lot of this will depend on what brokers have to say on the matter this morning.

Oil, iron ore, and copper climb higher.

The likes of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP), Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH), and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) could have a solid day of trade after oil, iron ore, and copper prices all climbed higher. Brent crude oil is up 0.3% to US$73.34 a barrel, WTI crude oil is 1% higher to US$67.93 a barrel, iron ore has risen 2.4% to U$S66.98 a tonne, and the copper price climbed 1.1% to US$6,820 a tonne.

Three more shares to watch on Thursday and the rest of 2018 are here. I expect big things from them.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Transurban Group. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of National Australia Bank Limited. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. 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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