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5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Thursday

On Wednesday the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) had a bit of a mixed day and finished it down 3 points to 5,725.1 points.

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

ASX futures pointing higher.

According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is expected to open the day 0.5% or 27 points higher on Thursday. This follows a positive night of trade on Wall Street following dovish comments from U.S. Fed Chair Jerome Powell. In late trade the Dow Jones is up 2%, the S&P 500 is 1.7% higher, and the Nasdaq has risen a sizeable 2.3%.

Aristocrat Leisure results.

The Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX: ALL) share price will be on watch on Thursday when it releases its full year results. According to a note out of Goldman Sachs, its analysts are expecting the gaming technology company to deliver a full year net profit after tax of $750 million. This compares to the Bloomberg consensus median estimate of $759 million.

Big buyer of Mineral Resources shares.

According to the AFR, Mineral Resources Limited (ASX: MIN) shares are in demand from one big buyer. Sources told the news outlet that UBS was in the market on Wednesday afternoon seeking to buy a few hundred million dollars worth of the mining and mining services company’s shares. The recent sale of half of the company’s Wodgina lithium project for $1.6 billion appears to have caught the eye of this investor.

ALS shares going ex-dividend.

The ALS Ltd (ASX: ALQ) share price is likely to trade lower on Thursday after going ex-dividend this morning for its 11 cents per share partially franked interim dividend. This dividend will then be paid to eligible shareholders on December 18.

Oil prices tumble again.

Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) shares could come under pressure again on Thursday after oil prices tumbled lower overnight. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price fell 2.1% to US$50.47 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price fell 2.2% to US$58.91 a barrel. Oil prices fell after data revealed that U.S. crude inventories have risen for the 10th week in a row.

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