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5 things to watch on the ASX on Thursday

On Wednesday the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) fought back from a heavy decline in morning trade but didn’t quite manage to make it into positive territory. The index finished the day just a few points lower at 6,175.9 points.

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

ASX futures pointing lower again.

Unfortunately, the Australian share market looks set to spend another day in the red. According to the latest SPI futures, the local market is expected to open 17 points or 0.3% lower on Thursday. This follows a mixed night of trade on Wall Street which saw the Dow Jones rise 0.1%, the S&P 500 edge a fraction higher, and the Nasdaq fall 0.2%.

Apple iPhone event.

Overnight Apple held its iPhone launch event and revealed three new phones. These were the iPhone Xs, the iPhone Xs Max, and the budget iPhone Xr. The iPhone Xs models will begin shipping next week, whereas the iPhone Xr model will be released next month. This launch could be a boost to the top line of Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) and Telstra retail store operator Vita Group Limited (ASX: VTG).

Oil prices continue to push higher.

Energy shares such as Beach Energy Ltd (ASX: BPT) Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) were among the best performers on the market yesterday thanks to a sharp rise in oil prices. The good news for shareholders is that oil prices have continued to push higher thanks to a larger than expected drop in U.S. crude inventories. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price rose 1.5% to US$70.30 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price climbed 0.9% to US$79.75 a barrel.

Shares going ex-dividend.

More shares are going ex-dividend this morning. These include the shares of repair centre operator AMA Group Ltd (ASX: AMA), appliance manufacturer Breville Group Ltd (ASX: BRG), travel agent Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT), childcare operator G8 Education Ltd (ASX: GEM), and fertility treatment company Virtus Health Ltd (ASX: VRT).

Miners expected to rebound.

After several days of weakness the UK-listed shares of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) bounced back overnight with gains of approximately 1.5%. I suspect bargain hunters have swooped in and could do likewise on the ASX this morning.

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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 Flight Centre Travel Group Limited and Telstra Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Virtus Health 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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