5 things to watch on the ASX on Wednesday

It was a disappointing day of trade for the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) on Tuesday. The benchmark index failed to follow international markets higher and dropped over 0.4% to 6,258.1 points.

Will the local market be able to bounce back strongly on Wednesday? Here are five things to watch:

Local market expected to open higher.

According to the latest SPI futures, the Australian share market is expected to open 0.4% or 27 points higher on Wednesday. This follows a positive night of trade on Wall Street which saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average rise 0.6%, the S&P 500 rise 0.35%, and the Nasdaq edge slightly higher as the latest earnings season kicked off.

Oil prices climb higher.

Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH) and Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) shares reached 52-week highs on Tuesday thanks to rising oil prices. There could be further gains being made today by these energy shares after oil prices continued to advance. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price rose 0.35% to US$74.11 a barrel and Brent crude oil climbed 0.9% to US$78.77 a barrel.

Corporate Travel Management acquisition and selldown.

The Corporate Travel Management Ltd (ASX: CTD) share price will be on watch today after it emerged that Morgans has been in the market to sell almost $53 million of this corporate travel management’s shares at a price of $25.75 each according to the AFR. The bookbuild includes a $40 million institutional placement and a selldown of $13 million worth of shares from a former company executive. The $40 million is being raised to acquire Lotus.

Transurban Group accused of unfairly profiting.

First it was Sydney Airport Holdings Pty Ltd (ASX: SYD) and fellow airport operators being accused of using their market power to maximise profits through excessive charges, now Transurban Group (ASX: TCL) has been on the defensive denying that it is unfairly profiting from high fees charged to motorists. According to the AFR, the toll road giant will overhaul its fee structure this month.

Pendal Group given neutral rating after its latest update.

One of the worst performers on the local market on Tuesday was the Pendal Group Ltd (ASX: PDL) share price. The fund manager, formerly known as BT Investment Management, saw its share price tumble 7.5% after an update on its funds under management. The company’s normally reliable JO Hambro business in the UK experienced sizeable fund outflows during the last quarter. This has led Goldman Sachs to slap a neutral rating and a reduced price target of $10.25 on its shares.

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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 Corporate Travel Management Limited, Sydney Airport Holdings Limited, and Transurban Group. 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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