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5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Wednesday

On Tuesday the S&P/ASX 200 index continued its solid run and climbed a further 0.4% to 6,242.4 points.

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

ASX futures pointing higher.

Despite a mixed night of trade on Wall Street, the Australian share market is expected to open the day notably higher. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is poised to open 31 points or 0.5% higher this morning. Late in the session on Wall Street the Dow Jones is down 0.3%, the S&P 500 is flat, and the Nasdaq has climbed 0.3%.

Budget announced.

Last night Treasurer Josh Frydenberg handed down his first budget. Some potential winners include G8 Education Ltd (ASX: GEM), after the government pledged $450 million to preschool education, and engineering giant Cimic Group Ltd (ASX: CIM) after $100 billion was pledged to fund road and rail projects across the country.

Oil prices charge higher.

Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) shares could push higher again on Wednesday after oil prices continued their ascent. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price has risen a further 1.8% to US$62.69 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price is up 0.7% to US$69.47 a barrel. The prospect of sanctions on Iran and disruptions in Venezuela have sent prices higher.

Afterpay shares will be on watch.

The Afterpay Touch Group Ltd (ASX: APT) share price was a strong performer on Tuesday, climbing to a new all-time high. And with one broker tipping the payments company’s shares to hit $28.00 this year, shareholders will be hoping this run can continue on Wednesday.

Shares going ex-dividend.

A number of shares are going ex-dividend this morning and are likely to trade lower. These include 4×4 accessories manufacturer ARB Corporation Limited (ASX: ARB) and pharmacy chain operator and distributor Sigma Healthcare Ltd (ASX: SIG). Elsewhere, casino and resorts operator Star Entertainment Group Ltd (ASX: SGR) will be paying eligible shareholders its interim 10.5 cents per share dividend later 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 AFTERPAY T FPO. 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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