5 things to watch on the ASX on Thursday

On Wednesday the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) slipped a touch lower and finished the day at 6,275.7 points.

Will things be better on Thursday? Here are five things to watch:

ASX futures pointing lower.

The Australian share market is expected to open the day lower on Thursday. At the time of writing SPI futures are pointing to a 0.4% or 26-point decline at the open. This follows a tough night of trade in Europe and on Wall Street. In London the FTSE fell 1.2% and in New York the Dow Jones was down 0.3% and the S&P 500 fell 0.1%. The Nasdaq rose almost 0.5% thanks to a strong rise in the Apple share price following its quarterly results release.

President Trump threatens to lift tariffs.

U.S. markets dropped lower on the back of escalating trade war concerns. According to CNBC, President Trump has told his top trade official to consider raising the proposed tariffs on US$200 billion in Chinese goods from 10% to 25%. China has accused the U.S. of blackmail and vowed to retaliate.

Oil prices tumble.

Escalating trade war concerns led to commodity prices tumbling overnight. Oil prices were among the worst performers and fell heavily. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price fell 1.6% to US$67.66 a barrel and the Brent Crude oil price fell 2.1% to US$72.64 a barrel. This could weigh on the performance of shares such as Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) today.

Rio Tinto results.

After the market closed on Wednesday mining giant Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) announced its half-year results which revealed a 12% increase in underlying earnings to US$4.4 billion. In addition to this, management announced a record interim dividend and a US$1 billion expansion to its share buyback program. Rio Tinto’s shares fell 3% in London along with industry peer BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP).

U.S. Fed keeps rates on hold.

As was widely expected, overnight the U.S. Federal Reserve elected to keep rates on hold in the 1.75% to 2% range. But the market continues to expect two further rate hikes this year, with one in September and the other in December.

This ASX small cap is up 285% with no sign of stopping...

One Australian company has developed a state of the art device that's revolutionizing hospitals all over the world. Even better, this device is so profitable that the company rakes in 90% margins. That's a lot of cash. So no wonder the stock's up 285% since 2008 – with no signs of stopping...

To discover the name and code, simply click the link below. You'll discover our expert's #1 medical technology pick... and you can decide for yourself whether to get invested today.

Click here to claim your free report.

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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.

The 5 mining stocks we’re recommending in 2019…

For decades, Australian mining companies have minted money for individual investors like you and me. But if you believe the pundits and talking heads on TV, those days are long gone. Finito! Behind us forever…

We say nothing could be further from the truth. To earn the really massive returns, you’ve got to fish where others aren’t fishing—and the mining sector could be primed for a resurgence. That’s why top Motley Fool analysts just revealed their exciting new research on 5 ASX miners they believe could help you profit in 2019 and beyond…


The best way we see to play the global zinc shortage… Our #1 favourite large-cap miner (hint: it’s not BHP)… one early-stage gold miner we think could hit the motherlode… Plus two more surprising companies you probably haven’t heard of yet!

For free access to our brand-new research, simply click here or the link below. But be warned, this research is available free for a limited time only, and we reserve the right to withdraw it at any time.

Click here for your FREE report!