5 things to watch on the ASX on Thursday

On Wednesday the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) bounced back from two consecutive days of declines with a small gain. It finished the day 0.1% higher at 6,192.3 points.

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

ASX futures are pointing lower.

According to the latest SPI futures, the Australian share market is expected to open the day lower by 17 points or 0.3% on Thursday. This follows a tough night of trade on Wall Street which saw the Dow Jones fall 0.4%, the S&P 500 drop 0.3%, and the Nasdaq slide 0.2% lower.

U.S. Federal Reserve lifts interest rates.

The U.S. Federal Reserve met overnight and lifted its benchmark interest rate by a quarter point to between the 2% to 2.25% target range. In addition to this, the central bank upped its anticipation for near term economic growth and provided a forecast through to 2021. Another hike is still expected before the end of the year. The Australian dollar remains flat at 72.6 U.S. cents.

Xero shares will be on watch.

The Xero Limited (ASX: XRO) share price will be on watch today after the accounting software company announced a US$300 million convertible notes offering and provided investors with a trading update after the market closed. In respect to the latter, management advised that it was comfortable with current analyst consensus expectations.

Shares going ex-dividend.

A large number of shares are going ex-dividend this morning for their latest pay outs. These include Aventus Retail Property Fund (ASX: AVN), EBOS Group Ltd (ASX: EBO), Japara Healthcare Ltd (ASX: JHC), Macquarie Telecom Group Ltd (ASX: MAQ), and Rural Funds Group (ASX: RFF).

The Telstra dividend is paid today.

Later today eligible shareholders of Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) will receive the telco giant’s final fully franked 11 cents per share dividend. I suspect that some of these funds will find their way back into the share market this week.

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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 RURALFUNDS STAPLED and Telstra Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Xero. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended AVENTUS RE UNIT. 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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