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5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Thursday

The S&P/ASX 200 index returned to form on Wednesday, rising 0.35% to finish the day at 6,689.8 points.

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

ASX expected to rise.

The Australian share market looks set to push higher on Thursday following a positive night of trade on Wall Street. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 index is expected to open the day 6 points or 0.1% higher this morning. In the United States the Dow Jones rose 0.3%, the S&P 500 climbed 0.45%, and the Nasdaq pushed 0.75% higher.

U.S. Fed to cut rates.

The catalyst for the strong gains on Wall Street was a testimony by U.S. Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell which indicated that a rate cut would be coming very soon. Powell said: “Many FOMC participants saw that the case for a somewhat more accommodative monetary policy had strengthened. Since then, based on incoming data and other developments, it appears that uncertainties around trade tensions and concerns about the strength of the global economy continue to weigh on the U.S. economic outlook.”      

Oil prices surge.

Beach Energy Ltd (ASX: BPT), Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL), and the rest of Australia’s energy producers are likely to be on the rise this morning after oil prices surged higher overnight. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price   pushed 4.2% higher to US$60.25 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price jumped 3.7% to US$66.54 a barrel. A drop in U.S. crude supply and a storm in the Gulf of Mexico are behind this rise.

NAB class action.

The National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB) share price will be on watch this morning after IMF Bentham Ltd (ASX: IMF) and William Roberts Lawyers announced plans to launch a class action against the bank’s MLC Super Fund trustee company, Nulis Nominees. The class action alleges that the business charged excess fees of over $100 million to clients from 2016.

Gold price higher.

Gold miners such as Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX: EVN) and Resolute Mining Limited (ASX: RSG) will be on watch after the gold price stormed higher overnight. According to CNBC, the spot gold price is up 1.4% to US$1,420.40 an ounce. This follows the testimony by U.S. Fed Chair Jerome Powell which indicated that a rate cut is on the way.

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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 National Australia Bank 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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