5 things to watch on the ASX on Thursday

On Wednesday the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) dropped notably lower and finished the day down 0.5% to 5,984.7 points.

Will things be better on Thursday? Here are five things that could shape the day’s trade:

ASX futures are pointing higher.

According to the latest SPI futures, the Australian share market is expected to open the day 40 points or 0.7% higher on Thursday. This follows a strong night of trade on Wall Street which saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average rise 1.3%, the S&P 500 climb 1.3%, and the Nasdaq push 0.9% higher.

Oil prices bounce back.

It wasn’t just the share market bouncing back overnight. Oil prices have rebounded after reports that Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members plan to stick to a global pact on cutting oil supplies until the end of 2018. According to Bloomberg, WTI crude oil is up 2.5% to US$68.38 a barrel and Brent crude oil has risen 3% to US$77.62 a barrel. This could be good news for Beach Energy Ltd (ASX: BPT) and Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH) which have been under pressure following recent oil price declines.

U.S. banks rebound.

One of the biggest drivers of the rise on Wall Street was its major banks rebounding from a selloff on Tuesday. This could set up our banks for a solid day of trade on Thursday. Especially Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG) which fell hard on Wednesday in response to the declines on Wall Street.

Thorn Group shares will be on watch.

The Thorn Group Ltd (ASX: TGA) share price will be on watch today after the household goods renter reported its full-year results last night. Thorn reported FY 2018 cash profit (excluding goodwill write-off) of $17 million, which was in line with its previous guidance. However, management has warned that the outlook for Thorn will continue to be challenging and expects cash profit to be down significantly in FY 2019.

Shares going ex-dividend.

A number of popular shares are going ex-dividend this morning for their respective pay outs. These include CSR Limited (ASX: CSR), Orica Ltd (ASX: ORI), Ruralco Holdings Ltd (ASX: RHL), and Technology One Limited (ASX: TNE).

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