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5 things to watch on the ASX on Wednesday

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) gave back its strong early gains to finish the day flat on Tuesday.

Will things be better for the local market on Wednesday? Here are five things to watch today:

ASX futures pointing higher.

According to the latest SPI futures, the Australian share market is expected to open the day higher by 0.6% or 36 points despite heavy declines on Wall Street overnight amid trade war concerns. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.2% to wipe out all its year-to-date gains, the S&P 500 was 0.4% lower, and the NASDAQ was down 0.3%.

Oil prices slide lower.

The oil price rollercoaster continued overnight with prices giving back some of the gains made this week. According to Bloomberg, WTI crude oil fell 1.2% to US$65.06 a barrel and Brent crude oil was down 0.5% at US$74.97 a barrel.

Telstra holds its investor day.

Arguably the most highly anticipated corporate event of the year takes place today when embattled telco giant Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) holds its investor day. Many are expecting the company to announce a dividend cut for FY 2019 at the event and even a potential spin-off. The latter would see Telstra keep its infrastructure business (mobile towers, data centres and copper network) and spin off its retail business into a new listed company.

Tabcorp hit by racing product fees.

After the market closed on Tuesday Tabcorp Holdings Limited (ASX: TAH) announced that it has been advised of new race fields fee rates. They have been set by Racing Victoria for wagering on Victorian thoroughbred racing and are proposed for wagering on all Western Australian racing. Management has explained that if these had been applied in FY 2018, it would have lowered net profit after tax by approximately $5 million.

Australian dollar falls.

The Australian dollar continued its decline against the U.S. dollar overnight. The spot AUD/USD cross fell as low as 73.5 U.S. cents before recovering slightly. At the time of writing the local currency is trading at 73.8 U.S. cents. This would be good news for companies generating sizeable revenues in the United States such as Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX: ALL) and Integrated Research Limited (ASX: IRI).

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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. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Integrated Research 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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