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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 in the red with a 0.3% gain to 6,146.1 points.

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

ASX futures pointing higher.

Based on the latest SPI futures, the Australian share market is expected to open the day higher on Thursday. At present futures contracts are pointing to a 9-point or 0.15% rise at the open. This follows a positive night of trade on Wall Street which saw the Dow Jones rise 0.2%, the S&P 500 edge higher, and the Nasdaq push 0.3% higher.

Oil prices move higher again.

The shares of energy producers such as Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) could climb higher after oil prices rose again. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price increased 1.3% to US$76.22 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price is up 1.4% to US$85.97 a barrel.

Bank of Queensland results.

This morning Bank of Queensland Limited (ASX: BOQ) is expected to release its full year results for FY 2018. According to a note out of Morgans, it expects the bank to report cash earnings of $362 million. It has also forecast a final fully franked dividend of 38 cents per share and a special 10 cents per share dividend.

Gold price gives back gains.

Yesterday gold miners such as Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) and St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM) were amongst the best performers on the market following a spike in the gold price. They may struggle to hold onto these gains today after the gold price dropped almost 1% from yesterday’s peak. The gold price fell after economic data showed that the U.S. services sector expanded at its fastest pace on record last month. According to CNBC, this led to 10-year and 30-year bond yields surging to multi-year highs.

Shares going ex-dividend.

A number of shares are due to go ex-dividend this morning and are likely to trade in the red. These include gaming technology company Ainsworth Game Technology Limited (ASX: AGI), four wheel drive parts manufacturer ARB Corporation Limited (ASX: ARB), airport operator Auckland International Airport Limited (ASX: AIA), crop protection specialist Nufarm Limited (ASX: NUF), and scrap metal company Sims Metal Management Ltd (ASX: SGM).

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