5 things to watch on the ASX on Wednesday

On Tuesday the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) snapped its losing streak with a 0.6% gain to 6,179.7 points.

Will the market be able to build on this on Wednesday? Here are five things to watch:

ASX futures pointing lower.

According to the latest SPI futures, the Australian share market is poised to open lower on Wednesday. At present futures are pointing to a 0.2% or 14 points decline at the open. This is despite positive gains being made on Wall Street overnight. The Dow Jones rose 0.45%, the S&P 500 rose 0.4%, and the Nasdaq increased 0.6%.

Oil prices surge higher.

Energy shares Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) could be on the rise today after oil prices surged higher overnight. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price rose 3.5% to US$69.91 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price climbed 2.7% to US$79.44 a barrel. Oil prices surged higher as the U.S. east coast braced for a major hurricane.

Myer results.

This morning struggling department store operator Myer Holdings Ltd (ASX: MYR) is scheduled to release its full year results. In the third quarter Myer reported total year to date sales of $2,355 million, down 3.4% on the prior corresponding period. I’m expecting something similar for the full year.

Shares going ex-dividend.

It is a big day for dividends on Wednesday with a multitude of shares going ex-dividend. These include the likes of Adacel Technologies Limited (ASX: ADA), footwear retailer Accent Group Ltd (ASX: AX1), Brambles Limited (ASX: BXB), horticulture company Costa Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: CGC), Perpetual Limited (ASX: PPT), job listings giant SEEK Limited (ASX: SEK), and healthcare company Sonic Healthcare Limited (ASX: SHL).

Bega to raise $250 million.

Late yesterday Bega Cheese Ltd (ASX: BGA) announced the completion of a non-underwritten institutional share placement to raise approximately $200 million. A further $50 million is expected to be raised with a share purchase plan. Bega is raising the funds at $7.20 per share, which is a 5% discount to the last close price. The funds will be used to reduce its debt.

Breaking news: ASX companies set to raise dividends!

It's been a nail-biter of a reporting season here in the first half of 2018.

But the real action, in my opinion, is what companies are doing with dividends.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of SEEK Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Adacel Technologies Limited and COSTA GRP FPO. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended SEEK 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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