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5 things to watch on the ASX on Thursday

On Wednesday the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) rose almost 0.5% to 6,190 points thanks largely to gains in the resources sector.

Will the market be able to build on this on Thursday?

ASX futures pointing lower.

According to the latest SPI futures, the Australian share market is expected to open the day lower. Current futures contracts are pointing to a 4-point or 0.1% decline at the open despite a positive night of trade on Wall Street. The Dow Jones pushed 0.6% higher, the S&P 500 rose 0.1% and Nasdaq edged slightly lower.

Oil prices rise again.

Energy shares such as Beach Energy Ltd (ASX: BPT) and Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH) could be set for another positive day of trade after oil prices continued to rise. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price surged 2.3% higher to US$71.44 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price climbed 0.4% to US$79.33 a barrel. WTI oil jumped after U.S. refiners and exporters eroded domestic stockpiles and sent them to a fresh three-year low.

Premier Investments results.

This morning retail conglomerate Premier Investments Limited (ASX: PMV) is scheduled to release its full year results. According to Goldman Sachs, the broker is expecting the company behind the Smiggle and Peter Alexander brands to report sales of $1,177.9 million and EBITDA of $189.7 million. The broker also expects net profit after tax of $120.5 million and EPS of 75.9 cents.

Shares going ex-dividend.

A number of popular shares are likely to trade lower today after going ex-dividend this morning. These include auto retailer Automotive Holdings Group Ltd (ASX: AHG), casino and resorts operator Crown Resorts Ltd (ASX: CWN), ferry company Sealink Travel Group Ltd (ASX: SLK), telco Spark New Zealand Ltd (ASX: SPK), and Xenith IP Group Ltd (ASX: XIP).

Copper prices hit three-week high.

According to Reuters, the copper price has risen to a three-week high following the weakening of the U.S. dollar. The benchmark copper price on the London Metal Exchange rose to its highest level since August 29 at US$6,145 a tonne, before ending the trading session 0.6% higher at US$6,121 a tonne. This could mean the OZ Minerals Limited (ASX: OZL) share price has another solid day of trade today.

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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 Crown Resorts Limited and Premier Investments Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Automotive Holdings Group 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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