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5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Thursday

On Wednesday the S&P/ASX 200 index finished the day 0.4% lower at 6,269.1 points.

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

ASX futures pointing higher.

The Australian share market looks set climb slightly higher this morning. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is expected to open the day 8 points or 0.1% higher. This follows a soft night of trade on Wall Street which saw the Dow Jones trade flat, the S&P 500 fall 0.15%, and the Nasdaq drop 0.25%.

TPG Telecom-Vodafone Australia merger blocked.

The TPG Telecom Ltd (ASX: TPM) share price will be on watch on Thursday after the ACCC blocked its merger with Vodafone Hutchison Australia (ASX: HTA). A decision wasn’t supposed to be made until today, but the competition regulator accidentally released its decision early. Both TPG Telecom and Vodafone Australia have announced that they will appeal the decision in the Federal Court.

Qantas update.

The Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) share price will be one to watch this morning when the airline operator releases its third quarter update. Qantas is largely expected to report a softer quarter due to the timing of Easter and school holidays.

Orica results.

The Orica Ltd (ASX: ORI) share price could be on the move on Thursday when the commercial explosives company releases its half year results. According to a note out of Goldman Sachs, the broker expects Orica to post EBITDA of $444 million and NPAT of $157 million. In addition to this, Graincorp Ltd (ASX: GNC) is due to release its half year results and is expected by Goldman Sachs to report EBIT of $9 million and a loss after tax of $8 million.

Oil prices storm higher.

The Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) share price and the Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) share price could be on the rise on Thursday after oil prices stormed higher. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price rose 1% to US$62.03 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price pushed 0.5% higher to US$70.26 a barrel. Oil prices rose after U.S. data showed a surprise drop in crude inventories.

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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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