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5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Thursday

On Wednesday the S&P/ASX 200 index pushed higher for the second consecutive day with a 0.4% gain to 6,358.5 points.

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

ASX 200 expected to push higher.

The Australian share market looks set to make it three consecutive days of gains on Thursday. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 index is poised to open 0.3% or 18 points higher this morning. This follows a positive night of trade on Wall Street which saw the Dow Jones rise 0.8%, the S&P 500 climb 0.8%, and the Nasdaq push 0.65% higher.

Oil prices crash into bear market.

Energy shares such as Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH) and Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) will be on watch today after oil prices crashed into a bear market after U.S. storage levels jumped the most in almost three decades. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price dropped 3.3% to US$51.70 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price tumbled 2.2% to US$60.58 a barrel.

Bank of Queensland set to name new CEO.

According to the AFR, former Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) executive, George Frazis, is set to be named the new chief executive officer of Bank of Queensland Limited (ASX: BOQ). Mr Frazis was previously the CEO of Westpac’s St George bank.

Gold price higher.

An increase in risk appetite offset a rise in the gold price and led to Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST), St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM), and the rest of the gold miners sinking lower on Wednesday. These miners will be on watch again on Thursday after the gold price continued higher along with investor sentiment. According to CNBC, the spot gold price rose 0.5% to US$1,335.30 an ounce.

Medibank rated as a sell.

The Medibank Private Ltd (ASX: MPL) share price will be one to watch this morning after Goldman Sachs reiterated its sell rating and $2.50 price target on the private health insurer. The broker has previously flagged concerns over industry data showing that revenue trends are deteriorating and expects further gross margin deterioration to occur.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of Westpac Banking. 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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