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5 things to watch on the ASX on Wednesday

On Tuesday the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) posted its second decline in a row with a disappointing 0.7% drop to 6,041.9 points.

Will Wednesday be an improvement for the benchmark index? Here are five things that could shape the day’s trade:

ASX futures are pointing lower.

According to the latest SPI futures, the Australian share market is expected to open the day 4 points or 0.1% lower following a weak night of trade on Wall Street. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished 0.7% lower, the S&P 500 was down 0.3%, and the NASDAQ was off 0.2%.

Royal Commission continues.

Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) took to the stands again on Tuesday. The Commission grilled the bank of its small business lending practices, finding its record keeping to be substandard. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) joined the party late on and will return to the stand this morning for further questioning.

Santos rejects Harbour Energy offer.

The Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) share price will be on watch on Wednesday after the energy producer rejected the US$5.21 per share (A$6.86 per share) takeover offer from Harbour Energy and terminated discussions. According to the release, the company’s independent directors and managing director unanimously resolved to reject the proposal on the basis that that it does not represent the full value of the company and is not in the best interests of shareholders.

Sirtex receives a firm offer.

Regenerative medicine company Sirtex Medical Limited (ASX: SRX) also released an announcement after the market closed on Tuesday. It confirmed that CDH Genetech has made a binding offer of $33.60 cash per share, less any dividend declared by the board of up to $0.30 per share. This could be a great deal for shareholders. Sirtex also provided a trading update which revealed that dose sales have not met internal expectations. After being flat in the first half, worldwide dose sales for the period so far in the second half were down 10.6% on the prior corresponding period.

Dividends being paid.

Eligible shareholders of Speedcast International Ltd (ASX: SDA), Pro-Pac Packaging Limited (ASX: PPG), and Tox Free Solutions Limited (ASX: TOX) are due to receive their latest dividends today. Tox Free shareholders will be particularly happy as they are set to receive a special 58 cents per share fully franked dividend. That’s the equivalent of a 17% yield for the soon to be delisted waste management company.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of Westpac Banking. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Tox Free Solutions Ltd. 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.