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5 things to watch on the ASX on Tuesday

On Monday the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) started the week with a decline. The benchmark index finished the day down 0.5% to 6,004 points.

Will the index perform better on Tuesday? Here are five things that could shape today’s trade:

ASX futures are pointing lower.

According to the latest SPI futures, the Australian share market is expected to open the day 0.2% or 13 points lower on Tuesday. Wall Street was closed for the Memorial Day holiday and the UK markets were closed for its Spring Bank holiday.

Oil prices have continued to slide.

Energy producers including Beach Energy Ltd (ASX: BPT) and Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH) could be set for another day in the red after oil prices continued to slide. According to Bloomberg, WTI crude oil fell a further 2% to US$66.47 a barrel and Brent crude oil was 1.5% lower to US$75.30 a barrel. Prices have come under pressure after Saudi Arabia and Russia signalled their intention to increase output.

ALS shares will be on watch.

The ALS Ltd (ASX: ALQ) share price will be on watch today following the release of its full-year results after the market close on Monday. The testing services company delivered underlying net profit after tax from continuing operations of $142.2 million for FY 2018, up 21% year-on-year. This was below the expectations of analysts at Goldman Sachs. In addition to this, the broker appears concerned by margin pressures in its Life Sciences segment.

Telstra has its credit rating cut by S&P.

On Monday the Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) share price came under pressure after Standard & Poor’s downgraded the telco giant’s long-term rating to A- and its short-term rating to A-2. Previously it had been rated as A and A-1, respectively. Intense competition and weak profitability are the reasons behind the downgrade. Brokers may weigh in on the situation today.

Metcash will also be on watch.

Brokers will no doubt be giving their opinion on the news out of Metcash Limited (ASX: MTS) on Monday that led to its shares falling almost 18%. The wholesale distributor warned of the potential loss of one of its major customers.

Finally, here are three top mid cap shares to watch over the coming months. I'm tipping 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 Telstra 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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