5 things to watch on the ASX on Wednesday

On Tuesday the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) gave back Monday’s gains and sank 0.4% lower to 6,161.5 points.

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

ASX futures pointing higher.

The Australian share market is expected to open the day higher on Wednesday. The latest SPI futures are pointing to the S&P/ASX 200 opening higher by 0.45% or 28 points following a positive night of trade on Wall Street. The Dow Jones pushed 0.7% higher, the S&P 500 rose 0.5%, and the Nasdaq climbed 0.8% higher after trade tensions eased.

Oil prices surge higher.

Oil prices bounced back during overnight trade. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price rose 1.25% to US$69.77 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price rose 1% to US$78.83 a barrel. News that Saudi oil inventories have continued to decline appears to have been the catalyst for the gains. This could give the shares of Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) a boost during trade on Wednesday

Shares going ex-dividend.

A number of shares will go ex-dividend this morning. These include animal health business Apiam Animal Health Ltd (ASX: AHX), dentist operator Pacific Smiles Group Ltd (ASX: PSQ), and online travel agent Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB).

Mining giants set to climb higher.

The shares of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) could be strong performers on the market today. The mining giants’ US listed shares climbed 2.5% and 1.7%, respectively, during overnight trade. An increase in base metal prices seems to be behind these solid gains.

Healthscope property auction begins.

According to the AFR, private hospital operator Healthscope Ltd (ASX: HSO) has pulled in UBS to pitch its property portfolio to potential buyers. Analysts estimate that the portfolio could be worth upwards of $800 million to $850 million.

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