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5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Tuesday

The S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) had a strong start to the week and climbed 0.4% to 6,217.4 points on Monday.

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

ASX futures pointing lower.

According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is expected to open the day sharply lower on Tuesday. Current futures contracts are pointing to a decline of 0.65% or 41 points  at the open. This follows a disappointing night of trade on Wall Street which late in the sessions sees the Dow Jones down 0.85%, the S&P 500 lower by 0.6%, and the Nasdaq 0.45% lower.

Oil prices rebound.

Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH) and Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) shares could be on the rise on Tuesday after oil prices rebounded overnight. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price has risen 0.9% to US$56.32 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price has pushed 0.4% higher to US$65.35 a barrel.

Reserve Bank meeting.

This afternoon the Reserve Bank of Australia will meet for the second time this year. According to the latest ASX 30 Day Interbank Cash Rate Futures contract, the market has priced in a 98% chance that rates will be held firm at 1.5%. However, future meetings are becoming less certain and a growing number of economists are tipping rate cuts later this year.

Shares going ex-dividend.

A number of shares are trading ex-dividend this morning and could sink lower than most. These include aged care operator Estia Health Ltd (ASX: EHE), private health insurer Medibank Private Ltd (ASX: MPL), and infrastructure fund Spark Infrastructure Group (ASX: SKI).

Nickel prices hit 6-month high.

The Western Areas Ltd (ASX: WSA) could push higher again on Tuesday after nickel prices continued their ascent. According to Reuters, nickel prices climbed to a six-month high in London on Monday after strong demand from stainless steel mills in China fuelled expectations of a fourth consecutive year of supply deficit.

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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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