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5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Thursday

On Wednesday the S&P/ASX 200 index returned to form and climbed 0.5% to 6,673.3 points.

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

ASX poised to drop lower.  

The Australian share market looks set to give back some of yesterday’s gains after earnings in the United States disappointed. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 index is poised to open 0.2% or 12 points lower this morning. On Wall Street the Dow Jones fell 0.4%, the S&P 500 dropped 0.65%, and the Nasdaq tumbled 0.45%.

South32 update.

Today is the turn of BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP) spin off South32 Ltd (ASX: S32) to release its latest quarterly update. With the diversified mining giant’s shares hitting a 52-week low of $3.00 on Wednesday, expectations are very low.

Oil prices sink.

Energy producers such as Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) could come under pressure again on Thursday after oil prices continued their slide. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price sank 1.8% to US$56.56 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price fell 1.3% to US$63.51 a barrel. A strong rise in U.S. oil inventories weighed on oil prices overnight.

Gold price surges.

Gold miners including Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) and Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) could be on the rise this morning after the gold price surged higher overnight. According to CNBC, the spot gold price jumped 1.2% to US$1,428.20 an ounce. This appears to have been driven by comments out of hedge fund kingpin Ray Dalio. He revealed that he sees a case to buy gold as central banks get more aggressive with policies that devalue currencies.

CIMIC results.

The CIMIC Group Ltd (ASX: CIM) share price will be on watch today following the release of its half year results after the market close on Wednesday. CIMIC delivered a 1% lift in profits to $367 million and confirmed its full year guidance of $790 million to $840 million. This fell short of Goldman Sachs’ estimate for a 9% increase in underlying net profit after tax to $396 million.

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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.